The distraught parents of a British footballer left in a coma after suffering an ‘unprovoked, one-punch attack’ in Australia have pleaded to be allowed to enter the country.
Danny Hodgson, 25, was attacked while on his way home from an end of season game on Saturday night. A 15-year-old boy has been charged with grievous bodily harm over the attack on the expat.
Mr Hodgson’s parents back in the UK are desperately trying to make their way to Perth to be by his bedside but are struggling to find a flight due to Australia’s strict coronavirus restrictions.
Mr Hodgson’s mum Nicola turned to Facebook to issue a desperate public plea for help to find a way.
‘The main sticking point now is trying to find an airline that can fly us to Perth, we have been in touch with all the airlines and have hit a brick wall and its looking like we are going to struggle to get a flight anytime soon,’ Ms Hodgson wrote.
‘We have tried every airline possible to see if there are any available flights from anywhere in the UK to Perth but have hit a dead end but keep phoning and trying to see if there’s anything available daily.
‘We are desperate to be with Danny by his bedside that’s why we are reaching out.’
Nicolas has been told her son could remain in an induced coma for weeks or even months.
She and her husband have already been granted a three month tourist via and said they have an exemption to fly without the need to quarantine.
Danny Hodgson (pictured with his partner Jessica) was knocked to the ground in an unprovoked attack
A Western Australia Health spokeswoman has since told Daily Mail Australia it had provided no such advice to the family and that no quarantine waiver has been approved.
The Facebook post was inundated with more than 6,000 shares and hundreds of comments within five hours.
Several tagged Western Australian premier Mark McGowan in the post to alert him of the family’s desperate situation.
‘Please help this family. An innocent victim and family hurt by someone here in WA. They should not suffer our border restrictions in getting to their son,’ one woman wrote.
Mr McGowan has responded, saying expediting Danny’s parents arrival would need to be cleared by the federal government.
‘This case is very upsetting for the community and in particular for the family involved,’ he told The West Australian.
‘International arrivals are a matter for the Commonwealth so in this case I would strongly support the Federal Government in being very understanding.’
The promising soccer star (pictured) is fighting for life in an induced coma
Danny’s family (pictured) back in the UK are desperate to be by his hospital bedside in Perth
Hodgson was on his way home from an end of season game on Saturday night when he was knocked to the ground from behind in an unprovoked attack at a Perth train station.
He was rushed to Royal Perth Hospital with severe head injuries, and underwent emergency surgery for bleeding to the brain and a skull fracture.
The personal trainer, originally from Cumbria in England’s north-west, has since suffered severe brain haemorrhaging, which required more surgery, and remains in an induced coma.
Mr Hodgson is a talented striker who represented Great Britain at international level before moving to Australia at age 18 to progress his football career.
‘Danny is full of life and has a heart of gold, he is the most kind, gentle and positive person I know who has a passion for life and football,’ his mum wrote in the Facebook post.
He plays for ECU Joondalup in Western Australia’s National Premier League, where he won a premiership and the Golden Boot award as the leading goal scorer last season.
‘We are extremely saddened to report that our senior player Danny Hodgson is hospitalised with a bleed on the brain and a skull fracture after being attacked in the city on Saturday night,’ the club posted on Wednesday morning.
ECU coach Kenny Lowe who formerly coached in the A-League told Perth radio station 6PR that Mr Hodgson is a ‘top bloke’.
‘What’s happened – I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. I can’t imagine what it’s doing to his family being so far away,’ he said.
‘The big focus for us is Danny, and to get his parents out here. Surely there’s someone out there that can help.’
The British expat (pictured) moved to Australia seven years ago to progress his football career
The 15-year-old boy charged in connection with the attack was arrested on Tuesday and later charged with grievous bodily harm.
‘It will be alleged around 1.55am, the victim [man in his 20s] was walking near the Perth Train Station, when he was approached by the accused,’ Western Australia Police said.
‘It will be alleged, without warning, the accused punched the victim in the head, causing the victim to fall backwards.’
‘The accused allegedly fled the scene without attempting to render assistance to the victim.’
The 15-year-old, who has not been named, is set to appear in Perth Children’s Court on September 22.