Offers of help and donations still pouring in for Simon Dobbin and family four years after attack
A Mildenhall family’s plight which was broadcast to the nation on DIY SOS last month is continuing to capture the hearts of friends and strangers alike.
Two fundraisers have been set up in aid of Simon Dobbin and his family, whose lives changed in 2015 after a brutal attack by a gang of rival football fans left the then 41 year old with extensive brain damage.
The Dobbins’ story, which was featured on the BBC One show on January 17, struck a chord with Sean Revill, a fellow football enthusiast living more than 100 miles away in Nottinghamshire, who responded by setting up a justgiving page.
On the page, Sean said: “Anyone watch DIY SOS? This week was about a Cambridge United supporter Simon Dobbin. Simon went to a match only to be attacked and now is paralysed. Just got me thinking how he went home and away following his club and now can’t do it.”
He also asked people to donate money to help buy Simon a new 50 inch television and iFollow subscription to let him watch his beloved team from the comfort of his own home.
Nicole, Simon’s wife of 21 years, said: “It’s absolutely amazing that a complete stranger would want to help us. It’s so nice that people are still thinking about us four years on and that we still have the support there.”
The total donated by 131 people through the page currently stands at £1,840 - more than three times the initial goal of £600.
A charity football match is also being held in Ely for the second time to raise money for Simon, Nicole and their 20-year-old daughter Emily.
Family friend Dave Boughtwood-eason has organised the ‘Big Match’ which will see fans and ex-players of Cambridge United and Ely City take on Arsenal’s charity team in May.
“Dave organised a football match in 2017 and it was brilliant so I’m really pleased and thankful that he’s doing it again,” said Nicole.
Money raised from the event will also go to two other causes - The Ryan Smith Foundation and the family of cerebral palsy-sufferer Owen Colman - which were chosen by the Dobbins as a way of ‘giving back’.
“Ryan Smith’s family helped us out so much when Simon was attacked and Owen’s dad took nine days off work to help with the DIY SOS programme so it’s a thank you from us to help out two other deserving families,” said Nicole.
Tickets cost £5 for adults and are available from Ely City Football Club.