Source: The Guardian
FC United's season isn't yet over - next week they're playing a benefit game for a fan left in a coma following an unprovoked attack by a gang armed with metal bars
Friday May 5, 2006
They may have played their final league game and be reigning champions, but FC United's season isn't quite over as they have a further two important fixtures still to play. Following a 2-1 win in the last North West Counties League Two game against Padiham on Saturday, United are now preparing to take on AFC Telford United this weekend, and the following week the club will embark on their first ever European excursion.
Both games are important for different reasons. The significance of the club's continental debut is obvious as they play a friendly in Leipzig, Germany on Friday, May 12 - the anniversary of the day the Americans invaded Old Trafford.
But before then they will travel to Telford for a benefit game to raise funds for a United fan whose football-watching life changed forever, in another sense, just three days after the Glazers landed.
On Sunday, May 15 Jamie Turner was on the way to watch Manchester United at Southampton when he suffered a completely unprovoked attack by a gang armed with metal bars and baseball bats.
The vicious attack saw him in a coma for three weeks and his skull broken in two. He was left unable to show any emotion at all - he couldn't laugh, cry, or even smile. He has had to learn how to do even the simplest tasks all over again. Still struggling with his speech, he is currently awaiting an operation to replace a part of his skull.
Before the incident Jamie, a father of two, ran a family IT business having learnt his trade while serving his country in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers.
Without the income from the business and having to give up work herself to care for him Karen, Jamie's wife of 23 years, has understandably found it difficult to cope.
Therefore the two fan-run clubs, FC United and Jamie's local team AFC Telford, decided to help the family with a benefit match.
FC are in a fortunate position to help a fan, due to the large supporter base, and the ethos of the club fits such a gesture. It's sobering to see that in the day and age where moneyed players still insist on staging testimonials that football can still make a positive difference where it counts. A good cause and well worth extending the season for.
For further information on the Jamie Turner Appeal visit the website: www.only1treble.com or for information on tickets for the FC United v AFC Telford game visit: www.fc-utd.co.uk.