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Fan back home and on road to recovery after three-storey hotel fall in France

By Angela Rainey

Published 06/07/2016

Injuries: Ben Crossley
Injuries: Ben Crossley

An east Belfast football coach who survived a three-storey fall from a hotel window in France while supporting Northern Ireland at the Euro 2016 finals said he’s delighted to finally be back home.

Ben Crossley is lucky to be alive after the fall in Lyon on June 17 in which he smashed his teeth and suffered fractures to his face so severe that he had to undergo reconstructive surgery.

After nearly three weeks in a French hospital, Ben yesterday flew by air ambulance to the Ulster Hospital where he will continue treatment for two fractured eye sockets, a broken hand, shattered kneecap and sprained ankle.

He remains in a stable condition and said he was delighted to finally get back home.

Although in great pain, the 23-year-old took to Facebook last night.

“Home sweet home, it’s been emotional. I’m not mobile and will be stuck in the house for a good few weeks until my hand heels and I can support myself with crutches or a zimmer,” he wrote. Ben had taken out the necessary insurance for his trip, although a fundraising drive was set up by his friends to raise additional money needed for dental work and physiotherapy that might not be available on the NHS.

So far his gofundme page has reached £3,235 in donations including an undisclosed pledge from Coronation Street actor Charlie Lawson who asked that an interview fee from TalkSport was donated to injured fans. Ben added that he was “thankful and humbled” by the messages of support that he received from all over the world.

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