Tigers rally round for Jimmy

PUBLISHED: 11:17 09 July 2011

Jimmy Gilborn

Jimmy Gilborn

Archant

ELY Tigers Rugby Club will hold a testimonial match to celebrate the career of a club member who lost part of his leg while with the army in Afghanistan.

Jimmy Gilborn, 22, was on patrol with the 9th-12th Royal Lancers on June 8 when an explosive device was detonated, causing extensive injuries to his leg.

“I was conscious throughout the whole explosion,” said Jimmy, who has played for the Tigers since he was 15.

“I remember everything up until I was given drugs on the helicopter and then it becomes a bit of a blur.

“I remember I was walking through a little village and had just rounded a corner when I heard a huge ‘boom’ and remember a lot of people shouting.”

Jimmy, a first team regular last season, was evacuated from Helmand Province to Camp Bastion, the British Army’s base, where he was treated and prepared for transport back to the UK.

Jimmy, from Cottenham, underwent surgery at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, in Birmingham, where his right leg was amputated below the knee.

He will continue his recovery in London where he will be attending physiotherapy sessions at an army rehabilitation centre.

He hopes to have a prosthetic limb fitted in time for his testimonial match and barbecue at the club on August 24.

Players will contribute £10 to play in the match and there will also be a raffle, with all the proceeds being donated to Jimmy.

Tigers president Mark Mitzman said in the club’s newsletter: “Jimmy has played for Ely for many years having played through the youth system and subsequently in the senior section. He has many friends.

“In typical fashion, Jimmy is positive and only looking to the future. Knowing him as we do, we are sure he’ll be up and about in no time at all.”

Anyone interested in taking part or showing their support should register by August 19 via the Tigers website at the event page or by e-mail to ­directorofrugby@elyrufc.co.uk

Donations to the fund can be made at www.pitchero.com/clubs/elytigersrfc/shop/&p=3647

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