BBC’s DIY SOS To Rebuild Home Of Football Fan Left Disabled After Violent Clash With Rivals

A football fan who was left with brain damage after a brutal attack by rival fans is set to have his home renovated thanks to hit BBC show DIY SOS.

Cambridge United supporter Simon Dobbin, 45, was left unable to walk or talk after being kicked and punched in the head by a gang of 13 football fans after his team drew 0-0 with Southend United FC.

The father-of-three suffered permanent brain damage due to a massive stroke and bleed on the brain following the attack.

Back in July, the gang of 13 were jailed for the premeditated attack on the father-of-two as he walked to the train station in Southend-On-Sea, on March 21, 2015.

Simon and his family’s lives has changed forever as his wife Nicole has become his full-time carer and Simon may never walk or talk again.

In the hopes of giving their family a boost, Nick Knowles and his team are enlisting local trademan to help rebuild his house in Mildenhall, Suffolk.

Cambridge United fan Simon Dobbin before the attack.

Nicole said: “I can’t believe that this is happening for us. The whole thing is actually so overwhelming how everyone has come together to help us.

“At the moment we have an open plan dining and living room and we’ve put Simon in there with his hospital bed.

“We’ve given him a curtain so he can have some privacy but if Emily (his daughter) and I are even in the living room we have to be really quiet.

“We also don’t have a wet room or anything for Simon so everyday he’s bath washed. It’s amazing to think that DIY SOS will provide a separate room for Simon and a wet room so Simon can have some more comfort.

“It should be all ready in time for Christmas. A woman in the village has let us stay in her cottage while they do the build – it’s incredible.

“This will be so good for Simon and also for Emily to have a better house for us all.

“When the attack happened I had no doubt that Simon would come home, he is far too young to be in a nursing home.

Cambridge United fan Simon Dobbin.

“When he’s happy he laughs but does get frustrated – it’s like he’s trapped in his own body.

“We’ve tried a few treatments but there is nothing that can be done, the brain damage was just too much.

“Despite all this, we try to have a normal life and do things he would have done before it happened. We take him to the pub but he can’t eat or drink and we do go swimming- we are just trying to have as much of a normal life as possible.

“We have made some wonderful friends since it happened and the community have been so supportive.

“All I ask in return is that people think before they get involved in football fights like this. I wouldn’t wish what we went through on anyone.”

Cambridge United fan Simon Dobbin (L) with Mark Millar, who works on DIY SOS as the build manager.

DIY SOS is now seeking skilled trades and local suppliers for the build which will take place between Tuesday November 14 and Thursday November 23.

A spokesman from the BBC show said: “We completely rely on the support and generosity of the local community of tradespeople and suppliers to carry out the work, to help transform the lives of truly deserving families.

“Simon’s current house is now unfit for purpose; it is inhibiting his rehabilitation and a massive strain on the family’s life. DIY SOS invites kind volunteers and generous companies to step up and help this family in need.

“The house needs a downstairs extension, under permitted development, with all the bespoke care provision that Simon will need: bedroom/physio space, wet-room, social space and the ability to access the entire ground floor and rear garden.”

His daughter Rebecca Dobbin posted the programme’s flyer on Facebook and said: “Would all my lovely Facebook friends who live in the Mildenhall area please share this picture it’s for my dad and finally my nomination has worked for him to be able to have what he needs so so happy any help would be so so grateful thank you xxxxxx”

The programme is having a trades day on October 26 and asks anyone interested in helping to email [email protected]

Leave a Reply