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Balcony fall footballer back home

PUBLISHED: 06:02 01 December 2001 | UPDATED: 10:58 03 March 2010

A FOOTBALLER from Essex who suffered severe facial injuries after plunging more than 25ft in a balcony fall in Tenerife is back home.

Harwich and Parkeston player Tom English was flown home yesterday and taken to Romford Hospital where he is continuing to make steady progress, although he is not yet able to speak.

A FOOTBALLER from Essex who suffered severe facial injuries after plunging more than 25ft in a balcony fall in Tenerife is back home.

Harwich and Parkeston player Tom English was flown home yesterday and taken to Romford Hospital where he is continuing to make steady progress, although he is not yet able to speak.

However, the 20-year-old can communicate by writing and was yesterday afternoon undergoing a full assessment on what needs to be done next to assist his rehabilitation.

His uncle, former Colchester United captain Tony English, said last night: "I made a text call to my brother yesterday morning to see how things were progressing and he phoned me to say they had just landed back in Britain.

"I was aware he was coming home but not quite so soon. Obviously it's great news and very positive. Of course the hard work probably now starts for Tom, but when you think how bad the situation looked last week this is a lot happier news.

"He will have all the support of his family and we can all just hope he makes a full recovery."

The former pupil of Philip Morant School, Colchester, who also played for Ipswich Town's under-19 side and Arsenal youths, was on a week's holiday on the Canary Island just days after celebrating his birthday.

He fell off a balcony suffering severe facial injuries and was immediately put on a life support machine.

His parents Tom Snr, a former Colchester, Coventry and Leicester footballer, and mother Sue have kept a vigil by his bedside for the past week.

Tom had taken a week's holiday in Tenerife having just spent 10 months playing in Singapore.

He had made three appearances for Harwich in the Jewson League on his return to England and was set to have trials with Queen's Park Rangers shortly.

Harwich and Parkeston first team manager Andy Clark said last night: "It's great news for everyone involved with the club.

"We have been overwhelmed with the messages of support for Tom from members of the public and especially from people in the non-league world."

Many have sent messages to Harwich and Parkeston's website, including supporters of neighbouring clubs.

One Clacton Town FC fan wrote: "It's at times like this that local rivalry is forgotten. My best wishes go out to Tom English and let's all hope he makes a full and speedy recovery."

Online messages were also sent on behalf of clubs themselves, including Wroxham FC, Little Oakley FC and Clacton Town FC itself.

One message sent by an individual said: "What awful news. Our thoughts are with Tom and his family at this testing time.

"Football pales into insignificance at a time like this and one sometimes wonders if it's all worthwhile.

"Life is short and very fragile, let's hope that Tom makes a quick and complete recovery, that's all that matters at the moment."


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