Football fan left in a coma after brutal attack speaks for first time in five months

Simon Dobbin, from Mildenhalll, has been left with serious head injuries after being attacked in Southend. Pictured with wife Nicole. ANL-150325-145827001
Simon Dobbin, from Mildenhalll, has been left with serious head injuries after being attacked in Southend. Pictured with wife Nicole. ANL-150325-145827001

The family of a Mildenhall man who was left in a coma after he was viciously attacked have heard his first words in more than five months.

Simon Dobbin, 43, suffered brain damage, broken ribs, damaged hips and a broken nose when he and a small group of fellow Cambridge United football fans were ambushed outside the Railway Pub in Southend after a match on March 21.

The dad-of-three, who served nine years in the RAF overseas, was taken to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge and put into a medically-induced coma before being moved in July, after regaining consciousness, to a rehabilitation centre in Norwich.

His wife Nicole said he has now uttered his first words since the attack. She said: “It was so amazing to hear his voice again, it was very husky and he repeated himself but it was great to hear him again.”

Daughter Emily Dobbin shared the news on Facebook. She said: “It was amazing to watch, he managed to count to 40, go through family names and tell us he loves us.”

His wife was pleased at his progress and the family were so overjoyed after not being able to talk to Simon for so long. She said: “It has been very difficult for all of us as talking is the best way to communicate, Simon has mouthed words and answered yes and no questions but they are over the moon to hear him again.”

Doctors have said they will not be able to assess the scale of Simon’s recovery for at least a year. Nicole said progress will be slow but she has been encouraged by her husband’s first words. She said: “We don’t know the next steps and we’ve had a setback with a cold but we’ve been told that is normal, we will get him on the speaking valve more, carry on talking and go from there.”