NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: St Ives Town star Josh Dawkin so grateful for donations and support following serious injury

Josh Dawkin (left) in action for St Ives Town against St Neots Town last season.

Josh Dawkin (left) in action for St Ives Town against St Neots Town last season. - Credit: Archant

St Ives Town star Josh Dawkin has issued a heartfelt ‘thank-you’ to everyone who donated to a fundraising drive launched after his serious injury.

The leg of St Ives Town player Josh Dawkin after surgery.

The leg of St Ives Town player Josh Dawkin after surgery. - Credit: Archant

Dawkin suffered a double break of the right leg in Saints’ final match of the Southern League Premier Division season, at champions Chippenham, on April 22.

He underwent a seven-hour operation at the Great Western Hospital, in Swindon, the following day. Self-employed Dawkin is unable to work as he faces a lengthy recovery, but a difficult financial situation has been helped by generous supporters.

An online appeal raised a shade over £2,000, while a bucket collection at the Southern League Challenge Cup final, which involved St Ives a week after he was injured, topped £500.

Dawkin said: “It’s great to see people pulling together like this.

“All the donations and messages I’ve received – a lot of which have come from people I’ve never even met – have overwhelmed me.

“I’m thankful to everyone who has gone out of their way to help me at a tough time.

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“If I was in a regular job it wouldn’t be so bad, but the fact I work for myself and can’t earn anything has made it even harder.

“It’s not just the money, but there is other help which I also really appreciate.

“Cambridge United have given me access to their physio and I’ve been offered three weeks of rehab at St George’s Park because I was a member of the PFA when at Norwich City.”

Dawkin returned to hospital in Wiltshire for a check-up last Wednesday when his leg was removed from plaster and placed into a compression boot for the next few weeks.

“Going back to hospital was the first time I’d been out since being discharged,” added Dawkin. “I didn’t even leave my front room for a fortnight.

“A hamstring injury was the worst thing I’d ever suffered before so this has been very tough to deal with. There have been some long days and nights, with a lot of pain and not much sleep.

“But they did further X-rays at hospital and everything is coming along pretty well. I’m still on crutches and can’t put any weight on my leg for another four weeks, but I’m able to get out and about now.

“I went to the club presentation night on Saturday and it was brilliant to see everyone again.”

Dawkin picked up the players’ player of the year award from his team-mates. He quipped that it might have been a sympathy vote.

Given his frequent star performances during Saints’ first season at Step 3 level, one suspects that was not the case.

Dawkin was the club’s leading scorer and most exciting player as they finished 15th in the Premier Division and he was certainly missed when they were pipped on penalties by Hayes & Yeading in the League Challenge Cup final.

It is too early to tell whether Dawkin will ever return to the pitch, but he is certainly hopeful.

“Of course I would like to play again,” he continued. “But I’ve got no idea at this stage whether or not it will be possible.

“I’m just taking things step by step and won’t know about that until much further down the line.

“All I can say is that I enjoyed my football again at St Ives.

“It was great to be part of a good season for the club and I was quite happy to score 17 goals considering I played out wide most of the time.”