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Fan fights for life after attack

Published 02/04/2015

Simon Dobbin is fighting for his life following a 'sickening' attack after a match (Essex Police/PA Wire)
Simon Dobbin is fighting for his life following a 'sickening' attack after a match (Essex Police/PA Wire)

A football fan is fighting for his life following a "sickening" attack after a match, police have said.

Cambridge United fan Simon Dobbin was set upon by a group of up to 15 people in Southend, Essex, following a match on March 21.

The 42-year-old from Mildenhall, Suffolk, has been placed in a medically induced coma and is in a critical but stable condition at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge.

His family have appealed for fans of Cambridge United and Southend United to come forward with information. The League Two teams had met earlier that day and drew 0-0.

Detective Chief Inspector Martin Pasmore, from Essex Police, said: "Mr Dobbin is an entirely innocent victim in this attack. He is a decent family man who was simply enjoying a day out with a friend.

"It is my intention to identify everyone involved in this sickening attack and bring them to justice."

Mr Dobbin and a group of other supporters left the Blue Boar pub in the town at 7.15pm heading to Prittlewell train station.

They were assaulted in East Street by a group of men who came out of the nearby Railway Tavern.

Mr Dobbin, who has children and grandchildren and previously lived in Liverpool, suffered a head injury, a broken hip and broken nose and was knocked unconscious.

His sister, Victoria Forysthe, said the family were devastated by the situation.

She added: "W hat has happened to my brother is a complete shock, and we are all very saddened, as his condition has not yet improved.

"My brother was a football fanatic; he has played football all his life, and also has enjoyed watching the games, especially Liverpool, as this is where he grew up.

"Myself and his family are not in any way upset or angry at the Southend United supporters, in fact much to the opposite, they have supported us through this tough time, and continue to do so.

"As a family we are hopeful and are holding on to the miracle that Simon will wake up."

Four men, aged, 19 to 33 and all from Essex, have been arrested on suspicion of grievous bodily harm and released on bail.

Anyone who witnessed the assault or has any information is asked to call the Harlow Major Investigation Room on 01279 621802.

Last month Watford fan Nick Cruwys, 44, was put in an induced coma after being tripped and kicked in the head following his team's 2-2 draw with Wolves.

An 18-year-old man was arrested in connection with the incident in Wolverhampton and released on police bail.

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