Injured fan back on his feet

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A FOOTBALL fan who was left fighting for his life after being attacked after a game in Hartlepool has made his first return to see his favourute team.

Kevin Taylor, 52, was airlifted to hospital with severe head injuries after being attacked in Church Street, Hartlepool, following Sheffield Wednesday’s 5-0 win at Victoria Park last August.

Kevin was caught up in trouble after rival fans clashed near Hartlepool train station.

He spent weeks in James Cook University Hospital, in Middlesbrough, before being transferred to a rehabilitation unit in Chester.

Now back on his feet, the 52-year-old made his first return to Sheffield Wednesday’s Hillsborough stadium for last Saturday’s 1-0 win against Leyton Orient.

Paul Bennett, of St Oswald’s Street, Hartlepool, admitted charges of maliciously wounding Mr Taylor, inflicting grievous bodily harm on another fan, and affray.

He was jailed for three years at Teesside Crown Court and banned from attending any football matches for six years.

Bennett’s father, Paul Clark, of Kendal Road, Hartlepool, received a 12-month suspended jail term for his part in the trouble and for driving his son away from the scene.

The court heard that the 46- year-old, who admitted affray and assisting an offender, was one of a number of Hartlepool fans who approached visiting supporters near the train station.

Stuart Hurst, 26, of Riverston Close, and Ashley Harwood, 21, of Oxford Road, both Hartlepool, also admitted affray and received suspended jail terms of six and eight months.

Philip Bailey, 49, of Turnbull Street, and Kieran Readman, 24, of Murray Street, also both Hartlepool, admitted using threatening behaviour and were given community orders.