English football fan tragically dies five years after life-changing attack by hooligans

Simon Dobbin, 48, was left brain-damaged and paralyzed in the assault after a match in Southend, Essex, in 2015.

Mr Dobbin, who supported Cambridge United and was watching them play away at Southend United, died in his sleep at his home in Mildenhall, Suffolk, in the early hours of Wednesday, his wife Nicole said.

He leaves behind his wife and daughter Emily.

Mr Dobbin was set upon by over a dozen thugs as he walked to the train station to return to Cambridge after his team drew 0-0 on March 21st, 2015.

He was attacked so badly he was left brain damaged and unable to walk or talk and needed 24/7 care.

Mr Dobbin also had to be fed through a tube.

Thirteen thugs were convicted in 2017 of their involvement in the attack, and 12 of them were handed jail terms totalling more than 42 years for charges of violent disorder and conspiracy to commit violent disorder.

However, they have all now been released from prison.

Essex police said they will review the initial charges.

Laws in England state that if a victim dies further in time from attacks sustained then current charges can be upgraded to ones such as murder or manslaughter.

Heartbroken widow Nicole, 48, told ITV Anglia: “Today I lost my gentle giant, words cannot express the loss I’m feeling.

“I’m thankful for the fantastic memories I have, he fought so very hard to be with his family.

“Sadly his heart wasn’t strong enough, but he is now at peace and will be forever in my heart.”

Cambridge United said in a statement published on its website: “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.

“The thoughts and deepest sympathies of everybody at Cambridge United Football Club are with Simon’s wife Nicole, daughter Emily, and his closest family and friends.

“We encourage all supporters to leave their messages of condolence and show how much Simon truly meant to the Cambridge United family, via the club’s social media channels.

“Sweet dreams Simon. Forever a U.”

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