£20,000 reward offered in investigation into death of football fan Simon Dobbin

Essex Police and the independent charity Crimestoppers have joined forces to offer a reward of up to £20,000 for information leading to the conviction of those responsible for the murder of Simon Dobbin.

Cambridge United fan Simon was left with permanent brain damage after being assaulted in East Street, Southend following a Southend United vs Cambridge United match on March 21, 2015.

In October last year Simon died at the age of 48.

A forensic-post mortem identified there was a direct link between the assault and Simon’s death.

Simon’s wife Nicole said: “As most people are aware, on the March 21, 2015 we as a family lost a husband and father, as well as a best friend.

“The community also lost a kind, caring and loving soul. Since this day our lives have not, and cannot, be the same.

“To see such a strong personality and independent man be beaten to the point he was and no longer able to take care of himself, to communicate his own needs and wishes, and to miss out on life as a whole was devastating.

“Simon was the life and soul of any party, there was never a dark day when he was around.

“We lost that part of him the day he was attacked, but together as a family we kept smiling and continued to give him the best life we could.

“As a family we had come to terms with the fact that he would never be the Simon we all knew and loved.

“We were just grateful to still have some part of him, his gorgeous smile that could light up any room and that cheeky twinkle in his eye.

“But being grateful for this also highlighted how selfish we were being. We could see the pain and suffering he was experiencing daily and the worst part of this was that there was nothing we could do to take this away.

“From the moment Simon woke from his coma, doctors were very transparent about Simon’s injuries and that his life expectancy was to be short, and Simon would inevitably die from his injuries.

“However we didn’t realise just how little time we had left. On the October 21, 2020 Simon fell asleep peacefully after spending one last day with myself and our daughter Emily.

“On this day we as a family lost my beautiful husband and father once again, but this time as a whole.

“And as much as it pained us to say a final goodbye, we now have peace knowing he is no longer suffering whilst being trapped inside a body with no escape.

“We have had over five of the most horrendous years and we will now have to grieve all over again, whilst the individuals who planned and carried out this attack walk free left to live their lives however they wish.

“Simon was 48 years old with so much to look forward to, now he won’t be able to grow old with me or watch his daughter get married and his grandchildren grow up. All of these beautiful memories stolen from us all.

“Therefore we want to take this opportunity to thank Essex police for all their hard work and we continue to support them in their investigations to bring the person(s) to justice.

“We hope that no other families will ever have to go through the heartache and loss that we have.

“Therefore, if anyone has any information relating to the attack on Simon, we ask for you to come forward.

“Any details no matter how small will aid in the ongoing investigation.

“Thank you.”

Someone knows who’s responsible’

Senior investigating officer Detective Superintendent Stephen Jennings said: “We are treating Simon’s death as homicide and are now working to identify those directly responsible.

“Simon was a completely innocent party in the disorder that took place that day and his family have been through an unimaginable time in the last six years.

“First coming to terms with the injuries Simon sustained, and then last year following his death.

“We’re committed to doing everything we can to get justice for them.

“There were a lot of people who saw or were involved in disorder that so someone will have seen or know who is responsible for Simon’s injuries.

“Thirteen men were convicted of their involvement in the incident – it’s possible that some were responsible for his injuries but it’s also possible there were some who weren’t but saw who was.

“A lot changes in six years – a lot of those there were young and some may well have families of their own now.

“Imagine if this was your loved one. You would want justice. Help us get justice for Simon’s family.”

Det Supt Jennings added: “It was a small number of Southend United fans involved that day and they’re not reflective of blues fans as a whole.

“I believe people will have heard who was responsible – I need you to come forward.”

‘Anyone who contacts the charity Crimestoppers will stay 100 percent anonymous’.

Reward

The charity Crimestoppers are putting up a reward of £10,000 for any information and we are matching that.

To be eligible for the £20,000 reward, you must report information to the charity Crimestoppers.

If you contact them, you will remain 100 percent anonymous.

They don’t ask your name or any personal details, they don’t record your call, and your number is never displayed.

Phil Breckon, Eastern Regional Manager at the charity Crimestoppers, said: “Mr Dobbin, who was much loved, was left unable to walk, talk or even move independently after he was brutally and senselessly attacked in the street after a match against Southend on 21 March 2015, which later killed him.

“This is something that never should have happened. Our charity believes in safe communities for all including being able to enjoy going to a football match without fear of violence.

“Crimestoppers is supporting the investigation into Simon’s homicide by offering this reward, to get much deserved justice for his family. Anybody who contacts our charity with information will remain 100% anonymous. Always.

“If you know something about this homicide, no matter how small, I urge you to do the right thing.

What you tell us can make all of the difference. You can call our UK Contact Centre, which is open 24/7, on freephone 0800 555 111 or you can use our simple and secure anonymous online form at www.crimestoppers-uk.org

“Nobody will know you contacted us and you’ll be doing the right thing for Simon, his family and friends.”

Mick Ferris

Editor Email: mickferris@yellowad.co.uk