Tributes paid as Cambridge United fan Simon Dobbin dies
Tributes have been paid to Cambridge United fan Simon Dobbin who has sadly died, five years after he received devastating injuries during an attack by hooligans.
Simon, who was left severely disabled after being attacked on a trip to a Southend United match, died this morning (Wednesday).
The 47-year-old was left brain damaged and unable to walk or talk after he was attacked in March 2015.
He had been to see Cambridge United play Southend, but he and a friend were ambushed and set upon as they made their way to a nearby railway station.
His wife Nicole, who was his full-time carer, said: “I’m numb and totally lost. He was fine yesterday and fine last night.
“We knew that he would die from his injuries but he just seemed to fight every time he got an infection or anything. It was a bit of a shock.”
Simon spent a year in hospital and in rehabilitation before returning home to Mildenhall, where he needed round-the-clock care.
Twelve men were jailed for their part in the attack and another man received a suspended sentence.
Nicole, 49, said before the attack Simon was “the life and soul of every party”.
“He was always joking around and was so friendly, always happy and a laugh,” she said.
Simon and Nicole were married for 22 years and they have a daughter Emily, 21, who is training to be a paramedic.
He worked as a transport manager for fuel company Browns of Burwell until the attack.
Nicole, who met Simon at a nightclub in Bury St Edmunds in November 1996, said: “He was a fantastic husband. His family always came first.
“If I was at work and came home late there would always be a cup of tea for me. We would sit and laugh together.
“It’s been hard because we lost the Simon he was because of the attack.
“I did try to give him the best life possible under the circumstances.
“He had so many health issues.
“We’ve had him a lot longer than perhaps we should have had - we kept him going.”
Simon’s story was featured on BBC TV show DIY SOS, broadcast last year, after his home was transformed by the programme's team and 100 volunteers.
His beloved club put a statement on social media.
They said: “It is with a heavy heart that Cambridge United can confirm we have received the devastating news that Simon Dobbin sadly passed away at home this morning. Sweet dreams Simon. Forever a U.”
The club added that their thoughts were with “his wife Nicole, daughter Emily and his closest family & friends. We ask supporters to leave their messages of condolence for Simon's family at this difficult time. Rest in Peace Simon”.
It prompted Simon’s wife to call for a change in the law.