‘Thank you’ – Horror crash victims Shaun Whiter and Joey Abbs say thank you as thousands turn out for Ipswich Town legends v Newmarket Town charity match

Ipswich Town XI v Newmarket Town. Raising money for Shaun Whiter, Newmarket footballer who lost his

Ipswich Town XI v Newmarket Town. Raising money for Shaun Whiter, Newmarket footballer who lost his legs after a hit and run crash on July 1. L-R Scott Patterson,Harriet Abbs,Charlotte Whiter,Shaun Whiter,Joey Abbs. Pic: Sarah Lucy Brown - Credit: Sarah Lucy brown

A young man who sustained life-changing injuries in a crash has said thank-you to the football community after a Newmarket charity match to support his recovery.

Ipswich Town XI v Newmarket Town.Raising money for Shaun Whiter, Newmarket footballer who lost his l

Ipswich Town XI v Newmarket Town.Raising money for Shaun Whiter, Newmarket footballer who lost his legs after a hit and run crash on July 1.Shaun Whiter and Joey Abbs watching the game. - Credit: Sarah Lucy brown

Shaun Whiter attended yesterday’s match between Ipswich and Newmarket Town with friend Joey Abbs, who is also recovering from muscle damage after the July 1 crash on Dullingham Road.

The total amount raised to support them both now stands at around £100,000, with about £12,000 raised by Newmarket Town after hundreds of spectators turned out yesterday.

“It is good to see loads of people here, it is all supporting a good cause,” Shaun, 27, said. “It is great to be here getting some fresh air. It’s a chance to say thank you to everyone who is supporting us.

“I got out of hospital on Friday and it is good being back home. Just being able to get outside in the fresh air has been brilliant.”

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- Credit: Sarah Lucy brown

Shaun, who was due to sign for Newmarket this season, is set to marry fiancée Charlotte Way on July 21 next year and he is still determined to be able to walk down the aisle.

Charlotte set up a fundraising page to raise the money needed to get him the best care possible, with a target of £120,000. Shaun said he is now preparing for “a lot of rehab” with the help of physiotherapists.

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Joey, 31, said the support he and Shaun have had over the last few weeks showed the good side of football.

He said: “It is brilliant to see so many people here today. The support we have had has been massive, to see the football community come together like this is amazing.”

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- Credit: Sarah Lucy brown

The match saw the likes of John Wark, Kieron Dyer and Jason Dozzell turn out for an Ipswich team managed by Terry Butcher, while promising first team youngsters Teddy Bishop and Andre Dozzell were watching on. A Newmarket side featured Joey’s brother Mark.

Bishop donated a pair of signed football boots to be auctioned, with Shaun outbid by another fan.

Newmarket chairman John Olive said it was not just them and Ipswich who should take the praise. “It is the whole community who have got behind Shaun and Joey,” he said.

“Shaun would have been playing here next season, but despite the crash he is incredibly positive – cracking jokes and enjoying himself. He is a real example to everyone.”

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- Credit: Sarah Lucy brown

The crash happened after Shaun, who works in Essex as an estate agent at David Lee in Stansted Mountfitchet, had gone to help Joey replace a punctured tyre at around 10.50pm. The injuries resulted in Shaun having both of his legs amputated while Joey suffered severe damage to his leg.

Jan Adamec, 40, of Shetland Road, Haverhill, has denied two charges of causing serious injuries by dangerous driving. He is due to appear before Cambridge Crown Court next week.

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