Fundraising for footballing friends injured in horrific Newmarket hit-and-run nears £45,000

Joey Abbs and his wife, Harriet.

Joey Abbs and his wife, Harriet. - Credit: Archant

Almost £45,000 has been raised in just three days to help two footballing friends horrifically injured in a hit and run accident.

Shaun Whiter, with his fiancee, Charlotte Way.

Shaun Whiter, with his fiancee, Charlotte Way. - Credit: Archant

The plight of Newmarket Town player Shaun Whiter and Soham Town Rangers footballer Joey Abbs has hit the national headlines following Friday night’s crash.

Twenty-seven-year-old Shaun was parked up on Dullingham Road in Newmarket where his friend, Joey’s car had suffered a puncture.

The pair were working to change the tyre on 30-year-old Joey’s car at 10.55pm when the driver of a silver Ford Focus smashed into their two cars.

Shaun was pinned to the back of his BMW, while Joey was left trapped between the two cars. The driver then reversed and fled the scene.

Joey Abbs (right) in action for Soham Town Rangers.

Joey Abbs (right) in action for Soham Town Rangers. - Credit: Archant

The two men were then airlifted to Addenbrooke’s Hospital. Shaun’s injuries were so severe that both legs were amputated from below the knee.

Both Shaun and Joey are still in hospital, and Joey’s brother, Mark, says the extent of his injuries are not yet known.

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“He’s had a scan on his knee and they thought it could possibly be dislocated and there could be some ligament damage,” he said.

“They had to strip down both sides of his legs to relieve the swelling. We thought he might be able to come out of hospital earlier in the week, but his temperature has gone up and down so he’ll have to stay in for a bit longer.”

“He won’t be playing football for a while, that’s for sure.”

Joey and Shaun have been inundated with messages of support from friends, family members, colleagues and team mates, and over £11,000 has been raised on JustGiving in support of Joey, while over £33,000 has been raised on for Shaun. Their JustGiving pages can be found here and here.

“The support and fundraising has been fantastic,” said Mark. “We’ve got a lot more planned, like a charity golf match and charity football matches, and we just want to help them as much as we can.”

Mr Abbs, who married his wife, Harriet, just two months ago, was due to return to pre-season training with Soham Town Rangers in the coming days.

Joey re-joined the East Cambridgeshire club after spells at Cambridge City and Newmarket Town, and joint Soham manager, Dave Theobald, says the club will do as much as it can to aid his rehabilitation.

“I’ve had a brief chat with Joey and he’s quite low at the moment as you can imagine,” he said.

“It’s a horrific accident which will hopefully be dealt with by the police. Joey and Shaun are both likeable lads and people have really taken to them both. It’s fantastic that people are going so far to support them.

“I think a few of the lads at the club are planning to visit Joey this week and everybody is wishing them both well.”

The driver of the car that caused the horrific accident is yet to be caught, and the police have sent an appeal to anyone that might have information on the incident.

PC Ian Masters from Cambridgeshire Police said: “I am particularly keen to speak to the driver of the Ford Focus who did not remain at the scene.”