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Cambridge United staff and players pay tribute to Simon Dobbin following his death, five years after attack

Simon Dobbin visits the Abbey Stadium with his family. Picture: Simon Lankester
Simon Dobbin visits the Abbey Stadium with his family. Picture: Simon Lankester

Staff and players of Cambridge United have been paying tribute to Simon Dobbin.

The devoted U’s fan died on Wednesday morning , five years after being attacked on the way home from watching United play at Southend.

He was left brain damaged and unable to walk or talk, needing 24-hour care.

Cambridge United head coach Mark Bonner said: “It was really sad news and a reminder of a really sad day five years ago, and a tragic event.

“I remember when Simon first came along to the Abbey and was there in front of the crowd, it was quite a poignant and special day so it’s really sad that we won’t see him again.

“We send our condolences to the family and everybody. They’ve had a really rough time, a really tricky few years.

“I think there is the love and well wishes of everyone in our club, but you saw it going around the national media and football community in general get behind things like that and there was a lot of love and well wishes being sent, and we echo those very strongly.

“We’re thinking of the family and everybody that has been left behind that loved him and send them our very best.”

Cambridge United supporters’ liaison officer and fans’ elected director Dave Matthew-Jones paid tribute to Simon on the club’s website, in a piece written with the assistance of the U’s former chaplain Stuart Wood, whose friendship with Simon and the Dobbin family over recent years ensured he remained a big part of the football club.

“It was with great sadness that everyone associated with Cambridge United learnt of the passing of Simon Dobbin earlier today,” said Matthew-Jones.

“No one can ever fully appreciate the love, support, care and assistance that his wife Nicole, daughter Emily, friends and family gave Simon during recent years following the tragic incident in March 2015 that changed his life forever.

“It is to them that we send our most sincere thoughts, deepest condolences and all of our love at this time, and share with them in their loss.

“Simon was a season ticket holder for many years who followed the club both home and away. He really enjoyed his football, sharing his support between both Cambridge United and Liverpool.

“Simon’s enjoyment of following the U’s was far more than the 90 minutes. It was about sharing the social side of match days, on terraces up and down the country alongside close friends and the rest of the Amber Army.

His first visit back to the Abbey Stadium following the tragic incident was as poignant a moment as the Abbey has ever and may ever experience again, with banners expressing the fans’ support and love for one of our own.

“Simon rightly lapped up the applause of everyone in the ground from both home and visiting supporters that day. His huge smile lit up the Abbey – his wife Nicole commenting on how loved being the centre of attention.

“Simon made further visits to the ground and always enjoyed being a part of the matchday experience.

“He will be remembered fondly by the entire family of Cambridge United FC. Rest peacefully Dobbo.”

United’s playing staff have also been paying their respects to Dobbin on social media.

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