A Mildenhall man is fighting for his life after being ‘used like a football’ and sustaining serious head injuries in a brawl in Southend on Saturday.
Simon Dobbin, 41, is on a life support machine at the Royal London Hospital, where he was taken after he and a friend were ‘jumped on’ by a group of football fans near the Railway pub at around 7.20pm.
Jim Faley, Mr Dobbin’s father-in-law, said it is looking less and less likely that he will pull through.
“They said if Simon doesn’t come around soon, he may never wake up,” he said.
“We are all hoping, but in the back of our minds we are not 100 per cent sure. Even if he comes out in a wheelchair, at least he will still be with us.”
Mr Faley said his son-in-law, who is married and has three children, also suffered damaged hips, broken ribs and a broken nose in the attack.
“There were 12 to 15 guys who came out of the pub, they were singing and dancing, and then they just jumped them,” said Mr Faley.
“His friend had a few broken ribs, but my son-in-law is on a life support machine and the doctors aren’t holding out much hope.
“They just used him like a football. According to some people, if it wasn’t for his friend laying on top of him they would have killed him.”
In the wake of the attack a group of Cambridge United Football Club supporters has set up an emergency fund-raising page in aid of Mr Dobbin and his family. So far the appeal has raised more than £1,000.
Police were called to East Street on Saturday evening following reports from members of the public that around 15 football supporters were fighting in the street near the Railway pub. Three men were subsequently arrested in connection with the incident.
A 33-year-old man from Southend and a 23-year-old man from Westcliff arrested on suspicion of GBH have been bailed until March 24 and May 27 respectively.
A 47-year-old man from Cambridge arrested on suspicion of criminal damage has received a police caution.