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Appeal launched for Thatcham Town FCs Wembley captain

Tom Melledew was seriously injured in an accident this week

John Herring

John Herring

john.herring@newburynews.co.uk

Contact:

01635 886633

Appeal launched for Thatcham Town FCs Wembley captain

AN appeal has been launched to help Thatcham FC’s FA Vase winning captain after he was seriously injured in an accident.

Tom Melledew fell through a roof 20ft onto a concrete floor while working at a stables on Tuesday. 

The centre-midfielder, who captained Thatcham FC to glory at Wembley two years ago (pictured lifting the trophy), had his pelvis fractured, chipped a bone in his back, and broke two ribs, which punctured a lung.

Mr Melledew, known as Mellers, had an operation on his elbow and hand, which required pins and screws. 

Friend and former squadmate Gareth Thomas was working with Mr Melledew at the time of the accident.

He said: “We were on a stable roof on Tuesday and he literally went through the roof and fell on a concrete floor. I was right next to him. 

“I saw my best mate disappear and I thought that was it. I had to get off the roof and get down there as soon as I could. It felt like an eternity trying to get off the roof.”

Mr Thomas said that girls from the stables rushed to help and an air ambulance arrived within 20 minutes. 

“The response was amazing. I can’t thank them enough, they took care of him while the ambulance got there it was brilliant.”

Wanting to assist his friend and former captain Mr Thomas set up an appeal to help him and his family. 

The goal was to raise £1,000 but people have donated more than £4,500 since the appeal, Our Leader, Legend, Mate, went live yesterday (Thursday).

Mr Thomas said: “It’s absolutely amazing.

“I sat down yesterday and thought about it and anything I can do for his family. I just thought if we could get to £1,000 that would be amazing and shows that people care in football, his friends and family etc.”

Mr Melledew now plays for Binfield FC, while Mr Thomas signed for Bracknell FC after being at Thatcham since 2002.

Speaking on the donations he said: “They’ve come from everywhere. They’ve come from Binfield, Bracknell, Thatcham, Wantage, all across the board where he’s played, friends, family. It just obviously shows how popular a figure in football he is at the end of the day.” 

Mr Thomas said his friend was “in a lot of pain, he’s obviously trying to get through it. I think he will be in hospital for a week or two. It’s just how he copes with the fractures and mobility. He’s not really in a good place at the moment but we’ve just got to stay positive.”

Mr Thomas said he had spoken with former teammates at Thatcham and that “everyone was crossing their fingers and wishing him well.”

Non-league teams have been unable to play during the coronavirus lockdown, and uncertainty surrounds when leagues can resume. 

Mr Thomas said: “If he can make a recovery [and play] it will be great but obviously the first thing is getting him well.”

To cap it all, Mr Melledew supports Liverpool FC – who ended their 30-year wait for a Premier League title yesterday after Manchester City lost 2-1 to Chelsea. 

Mr Thomas said: “He’s obviously happy but it’s not much of a focus at the end of the day. When he’s out we’ll watch the game and have a beer.” 

To make a donation visit https://www.gofundme.com/f/our-leader-legend-mate?utm_source=whatsapp&utm_medium=chat&utm_campaign=p_cf+share-flow-1  

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