Whiter, Abbs guests of honour at awards night

SPECIAL GUESTS: Shaun Whiter and Joey Abbs flanked by Suffolk FA Director Roger Peck and Mike Phillips, who are organising this years Suffolk FA Awards Night, pictured at The Ridgeons Stadium, home of Newmarket Town FC

SPECIAL GUESTS: Shaun Whiter and Joey Abbs flanked by Suffolk FA Director Roger Peck and Mike Phillips, who are organising this years Suffolk FA Awards Night, pictured at The Ridgeons Stadium, home of Newmarket Town FC

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Two footballers seriously injured in a hit-and-run accident are to be guests of honour at the Suffolk FA’s end-of-season awards evening.

All profits from the Suffolk night — sponsored by McDonald’s, Ransomes Jacobsen and The KBB Centre — will be presented to Shaun Whiter and Joey Abbs.

Whiter, now 28, had to have both legs amputated while Abbs, 32, suffered a serious injury to his right leg following the crash in Dullingham Road, Newmarket, on July 1 last year.

Whiter played for Newmarket Town last season, while Abbs had moved from The Jockeys to Soham Town Rangers earlier last year.

Clubs in Suffolk and Cambridgeshire helped to raise funds for the pair and Whiter’s aftercare in particular.

He has since had prosthetic legs fitted and learnt to walk again.

Suffolk FA, who previously contributed £1,000 in aid of Whiter and Abbs, have now decided to donate them with the profits from their annual awards night, which is taking place at Trinity Park on the outskirts of Ipswich on Friday, June 23.

Former Ipswich Town and ‘I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here’ star Jimmy Bullard will be the guest speaker.

Suffolk FA Marketing & Communications Officer Nick Garnham said: “It was an easy decision to agree to support Shaun and Joey, two young men who many footballers in Suffolk will have played with and against in the past.

“When we went to meet them to discuss details about the event we all came away feeling very humbled after hearing about how they have gone about rebuilding their lives since that fateful evening.”

Abbs, who is hoping to play locally again next season, said: “Having the help of the Suffolk FA has enabled us to be very much in touch with the game we love.

“We may not be able to play but it enables us to still be around the game and the supporters.

“It’s great to see everyone from the junior levels to the professional ranks taking an interest in our story and helping out in whichever way they can.”

Whiter added: “We are both very much looking forward to the Awards Night as it’s a chance to commemorate the hard work individuals put in every season to make the games happen.

“And we are also looking forward to hearing Jimmy Bullard speak as we are both fans of Jimmy the player and also Jimmy the comic — he is a great character in the football world.”

Tickets, priced £50, which includes a two-course meal, will go on sale soon, with sponsorship packages available for companies.