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Aug 16, 2010
Report on the BBC website:


A football fan who ended up in a coma after being beaten has begun to laugh and move his limbs, his wife has said.Cambridge United supporter Simon Dobbin, from Mildenhall, Suffolk, was attacked in Southend, Essex, in March after a game at the Roots Hall stadium.
Last month the 42-year-old was moved to a rehabilitation centre in Norwich, where he has undergone a "fantastic change", Nicole Dobbin said.
But how much he will recover is still uncertain, she added.
Mr Dobbin was knocked unconscious outside the The Railway pub on 21 March following the Cambridge-Southend game.
He was described by Essex Police as an "entirely innocent person" who was "looking at the possibility of having to live with a permanent brain injury".
Officers have arrested and bailed 16 men in the case.
The attack happened outside The Railway in Southend on 21 MarchAfter the attack Mr Dobbin was taken to Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge and put into a medically-induced coma.
He is now conscious and has been transferred to a neurological rehabilitation centre at the Colman Hospital in Norwich.
Mrs Dobbin said her husband, who served overseas with the RAF for nine years during the 1990s, could now be put in a wheelchair and had "got his sense of humour back".
She said he had begun mouthing words, laughing and moving his limbs. He is also recognising some people.
Nicole Dobbin said her husband's injury had been devastating
"There was a fantastic change in him within 24 hours of him being moved," said Mrs Dobbin. "He's fighting - he's so alert, it's like a light's been switched on."
Mrs Dobbin said doctors would not be able to assess the scale of his recovery for at least a year.
"If there are any witnesses I would ask them to come forward, because it could happen to anyone. What we've been through as a family I'd hate anyone else to go through," she said.