DIY SOS dad-of-three severely brain damaged after football hooligan attack dies


A dad-of-three who was left brain damaged by a group of football hooligans has sadly died five years after the horrific attack.

Cambridge United fan Simon Dobbin, who featured on BBC’s home improvement show DIY SOS, was left unable to walk or talk after his head was stamped on in the 90 second unprovoked attack by some of the thugs who acted like a “pack of animals”.

Thirteen men were convicted following the savage attack.

Mr Dobbin died this morning at home, Cambridge United FC confirmed.

In a series of tweets, they said: “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. Sweet dreams Simon. Forever a U.

“The thoughts of everybody at @CambridgeUtdFC are with his wife Nicole, daughter Emily and his closest family & friends.

“We ask supporters to leave their messages of condolence for Simon’s family at this difficult time.

“Rest in Peace Simon.”

Mr Dobbin was attacked in March 2015 after a football game between Southend United and his beloved Cambridge United.

He was ambushed while he was en route to the Blue Boar pub on Victoria Avenue by a group of thugs and repeatedly stomped on.

He was left permanently brain damaged by the attack and was unable to walk, talk or control his movements.

After spending almost a year in three different hospitals, Mr Dobbin returned home to his family in March 2016.

Known as ‘Dobbo’ by his friends, Simon lived in Mildenhall with his wife and full-time carer, Nicole, and their daughter, Emily.

After Simon had spent a year in hospital, and defied doctor’s warnings he wouldn’t pull through, Nicole made the decision she wanted to be his full time carer at home in Mildenhall, Suffolk.

In January last year Nick Knowles and the DIY SOS team along with hundreds of volunteers stepped in to help ease the daily agony for Simon by transforming their home so it suited his needs.

The family had struggled as the former RAF man had been forced to live in the dining room meaning he did not get enough privacy.

Nicole used to have to bring in a bowl of water to wash him but after the transformation he had his own bedroom with a wet room.

His room had cameras and monitors in it which meant Nicole didn’t have to be with him 24/7. Instead she could allow him to have time to himself whilst still being able to make sure he was okay.

Eight men were jailed for violent disorder:

Five years for Ryan Carter, 21, of Southend-on-Sea, Essex

Four years for Jamie Chambers, 24, of Southend-on-Sea, Essex

Three-and-a-half years for Lewis Courtnell, 34, of Southend-on-Sea, Essex

Three-and-a-half years for Scott Nicholls, 40, of Basildon, Essex

Three-and-a-half years for Matthew Petchey, 26, of Rochford, Essex

Sixteen months for Rhys Pullen, 21, of Wickford, Essex

Five years for Thomas Randall, 22, of of Southend-on-Sea, Essex

Five years for Alexander Woods, 25, of Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex

Three years for James Woods, 25, of of Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex

Three men were jailed for conspiracy to commit violent disorder:

Three years for Greg Allen, 29, of Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex

Three years for Phil McGill, 32, of Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex

Two-and-half-years for Michael Shawyer, 31, of Leigh-on-Sea, Essex

*Ian Young, 41, of Brightwell Avenue, Westcliff was found guilty of assisting an offender by hiding the group while police were conducting a search – but not guilty of conspiracy to commit violent disorder.

Twenty-five men reportedly set upon him on the night of the attack.

Of that group, nine were convicted for violent disorder on July 17, 2017.

A further three men were convicted at the same trial for conspiracy to commit violent disorder and one other man was convicted of assisting an offender and admitted possessing a pepper spray.

Since the trial however, ten of the men have been released from prison.

Last year, wife Nicole launched a campaign to get a new law passed by government.

The campaign asks for harsher punishments to be given to people who commit violent crimes like Simon’s attackers.

She also wants people convicted of violent disorder to have a percentage of their earnings through work or benefits taken from them and given to the NHS for the rest of their lives.