THE wife of football fan Simon Dobbin has spoken out after her beloved husband passed away this morning.

Nicole, who discovered Simon had passed away in his sleep this morning, told the Echo she "hopes his attackers live with this guilt everyday for the rest of their lives."

Tributes have flooded in for Mr Dobbin, who was attacked by a group of football hooligans after a Southend United game in 2015 and had been living with permanent brain damage.

Mrs Dobbin revealed how Simon had been laughing with his 19-year-old daughter Emily, who had returned home from St George's university just days before.

She said: "The attackers have got what they wanted. He's gone now.

"They destroyed his life and ours. He was 48, he should have been in the prime of his life.

"I just can't believe it. I'm just feeling so numb, I don't think it's sunk in yet.

"He usually wakes me up in the night but he didn't last night.

"I went into his room to give him his medication this morning, turned the ensuite light on and he'd gone.

"We're going to spend some time with friends and family at the moment while we get used to what's happened."

"He was laughing with me yesterday before he went to sleep."