The Halifax man who was brutally assaulted after a rugby match has revealed for the first time the full extent of his injuries.
David Singer, 33, was left fighting for his life after being beaten up outside the Halliwell Jones Stadium in Warrington following Fax’s Co-operative Championship Grand Final win over Featherstone Rovers in September 2010.
Following the attack he was placed into an induced coma and had to have an emergency operation to remove part of his skull in order to relieve the pressure in the right side of his brain.
He then had to have a metal plate inserted in his head and now suffers from hemiplegia, the total paralysis of the left side of his body, meaning he is confined to a wheel chair, with doctors warning he may never walk again.
But in an exclusive interview with the Courier, David said he was working with physiotherapists several times a week to try and get the movement back in his left side.
“The longer it goes on the less likely it is to come back,” David said. “I have been able to do a few metres with walking aids, but hopefully one day I will be able to take some steps on my own. Will power is the key.”
He has already shown immense strength of character to come through a demanding rehabilitation process, which has included having to learn new skills.
“I’m starting to learn to write with my right hand, because I am left handed,” he said.
“I can write my name but it’s a bit messy.
“I also have to have my food cut up for me and I eat with a fork in my right hand,” he said.
Although David says his memory is patchy, it is improving all the time and he remembers that the Grand Final on the night of the attack was “a fantastic match.”
After over a year in and out of different hospitals, David is now living at White Windows Cheshire Home in Sowerby, where he has been for the last six weeks.
He spends the weekends at home with his parents and sometime next year he hopes to be able to move back there permanently.
They plan to have the house extended to include an extra level, a lift and a wet room installed for wheelchair access.
David paid thanks to the people who have supported him during his recovery in the 15 months since the attack.
“I want to say a big thank you to my family, friends, colleagues and to Halifax Rugby Club, especially director Mike Riley,” he said.
“When I was in hospital he sent me a DVD of Fax’s pre-season games so I could watch.”
He hopes to get to some matches in the new year, adding: “I have been to two rugby league matches at the Shay and I went to the Halifax Town match against Charlton in the FA Cup. I’ve always been into the football as well as the rugby.
“I also want to thank the people at Halifax Kingdom Hall who I sometimes go and see on a Thursday night.”
His friend Natalie Spencer, who runs the Fleece Inn in Elland, is holding a fund raising event for David next Saturday at the pub.
A raffle will be held, with a signed Fax shirt the top prize, bands will perform and Fax star Sam Barlow and Simon Cowell’s former personal body guard Tony Adkins will be there.
“I wonder if he’ll be the doorman for the night,” joked David.
“It should be a good do, I’m looking forward to it. I said to Natalie it would have been nice if the money could have gone to Overgate, but she said it was all done for me. People have gone to a lot of trouble to organise it.”
As for the future, David is hoping to sign up to a computer course and would also like to learn to speak French. He is looking for a volunteer to help teach him at White Windows once a week.
“I have a GCSE in it and I’d like to be able to get better,” he said.
Detectives have been carrying out an in-depth investigation and have made several appeals for supporters who were at the game to get in touch.
Four men were arrested but have all been released without charge.
Anyone with any information should contact Cheshire Constabulary on 0845 458 0000 quoting Operation Adjure, or CrimeStoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.