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Football fans among many paying tribute to Simon Dobbin

PUBLISHED: 16:00 13 November 2020 | UPDATED: 07:59 17 November 2020

Simon Dobbin's funeral procession leaves the church in Mildenhall. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Simon Dobbin's funeral procession leaves the church in Mildenhall. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Copyright: Archant 2020

Football supporters were among many who lined the streets to pay tribute to a Suffolk man who died five years after he was brutally attacked by a gang of hooligans.

Simon Dobbin's daughter Emily pictured with her dad Picture: SUPPLIED BY FAMILYSimon Dobbin's daughter Emily pictured with her dad Picture: SUPPLIED BY FAMILY

Cambridge United fan Simon Dobbin was left brain damaged, unable to walk or talk and needing round-the-clock care after being set upon by a group of men after watching his team play away against Southend United in March 2015.

The attack, which lasted 90 seconds, was unprovoked.

His family announced the father-of-three, who previously served in the RAF, died at his family home in Mildenhall on October 21.

Mr Dobbin’s funeral took place on Friday afternoon at St Mary’s Church in Mildenhall, with the cortège arriving at the church around 12.25pm. The last post was played to honour his military past.

Simon Dobbin's funeral procession leaves the church in Mildenhall. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYSimon Dobbin's funeral procession leaves the church in Mildenhall. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Following the service he was taken to his final resting place at Mildenhall Cemetery.

MORE: Wife of brain-damaged football fan left ‘frustrated’ by release of attackers

Cambridge United paid tribute on social media, tweeting: “Cambridge United supporters amongst the many lining the streets of Mildenhall to pay their respects, to one of our own, Simon Dobbin.”

A total of 12 men were jailed in July 2017 for the vicious assault on Mr Dobbin but the last remaining prisoner was released on February 5 this year for their part in the attack.

Nine of the men were convicted of violent disorder with three more convicted of conspiracy to commit violent disorder.

Wellwishers in Simon Dobbin's funeral procession as it makes its way through Mildenhall. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYWellwishers in Simon Dobbin's funeral procession as it makes its way through Mildenhall. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Essex Police has now indicated that it will be reviewing Mr Dobbin’s investigation following his death, with the Crown Prosecution Service saying it will “carefully consider” any further material received in relation to the case.

Mr Dobbin’s wife Nicole started a campaign in August 2019 calling for ‘Simon’s Law’ to be introduced to make violent offenders make payments to the NHS for the rest of their lives.

She launched a petition on Change.org which to date has received more than 287,000 signatures.

Mrs Dobbin also met justice secretary Robert Buckland in February this year to discuss the law change.

The Last Post is played at Simon Dobbin's funeral in Mildenhall. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe Last Post is played at Simon Dobbin's funeral in Mildenhall. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

MORE: Nick Knowles pays tribute to Simon Dobbin following football fan’s death

Mr Dobbin featured on national television in 2019 when the BBC DIY SOS team visited Mildenhall to make adaptations to his home.

The work included a bedroom, physio space, wet room and social space, with downstairs and outdoor access for Mr Dobbin in his wheelchair.

The episode aired in 2019.

Simon Dobbin, pictured with his daughter Emily and wife Nicole.Simon Dobbin, pictured with his daughter Emily and wife Nicole.

Flowers for Simon Dobbin's funeral in Mildenhall. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYFlowers for Simon Dobbin's funeral in Mildenhall. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Simon Dobbin's family at his funeral in Mildenhall. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYSimon Dobbin's family at his funeral in Mildenhall. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Rev Sue Leathley and Rev Stuart Wood, right, lead the coffin to St Mary's Church for Simon Dobbin's funeral in Mildenhall. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYRev Sue Leathley and Rev Stuart Wood, right, lead the coffin to St Mary's Church for Simon Dobbin's funeral in Mildenhall. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Simon Dobbin's RAF cap on his coffin at his funeral in Mildenhall. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYSimon Dobbin's RAF cap on his coffin at his funeral in Mildenhall. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY


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