The Australian football community has been left devastated after Perth-based British player Danny Hodgson was left fighting for life by a vicious assault.
The England-born striker, who plays for ECU Joondalup in the National Premier Leagues Western Australia, had been celebrating the end of the season with his teammates on Saturday when he was allegedly struck from behind in an unprovoked attack while walking into a Perth train station.
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Hodgson was rushed to Royal Perth Hospital in a critical condition where doctors performed emergency surgery.
The 25-year-old's condition took a turn for the worse and he has now been placed in an induced coma.
A 15-year-old boy has since been charged with one count of grievous bodily harm, with police alleging the attack was unprovoked and that the boy fled the scene without rendering assistance.
The Australian football community has rallied around Hodgson's UK-based parents after they were initially unable to secure a flight to WA to be by their son's bedside.
They had already been granted a three-month tourist visa, but were initially unable to secure seats on a flight due to the Covid quota on how many people can arrive in WA.
Hodgson's mother Nicola Hodgson made a heartfelt post on social media begging for help, which saw her son's awful plight go viral.
"Danny had emergency surgery in Royal Perth Hospital for bleeding to the brain and a brain fracture," she wrote.
"Danny took a turn for the worse the following day due to more severe brain haemorrhaging and was rushed to theatre for more intrusive brain surgery that lasted for four hours.
"Danny is currently in an induced coma that could last for weeks or even months.
"We are obviously distraught with what's happened to our son and are trying desperately to fly to Perth to be by his bedside."
In an uplifting twist, Hodgson's parents reportedly secured seats on a flight to Australia on Wednesday night.
Australian football community rallies around Danny Hodgson
Former Perth Glory coach Kenny Lowe, who now coaches Hodgson at ECU Joondalup, choked back tears on Wednesday as he expressed his distress at seeing his star player in a battle for survival.
"He's a top bloke. I've got kids the same age as him," Lowe told Perth radio station 6PR.
"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.
"The big focus for us is Danny, and to get his parents out here. Surely there's someone out there that can help."
Lowe also took to social media to spread the message to help Hodgson's family, tweeting: “Someone must be able to help Danny’s Family get into Perth. I am sure the Football and broader Australian community will rally and help.
"This is what Aussies do. Come on let’s bring them here to be at their sons side. Praying for a positive outcome. Stay strong Danny.”
Manchester City goalkeeper Scott Carson was among the many to share the post, writing: “Surely someone can help find this family 2 seats to Australia, I couldn’t imagine been (sic) in this situation as a parent.”
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