The BBC are reporting that family and friends of ex-Birmingham City player Joey Hutchinson are raising funds for the former Blue after a holiday accident left him paralysed.
Hutchinson suffered a snapped spinal cord after falling into a pool whilst on holiday in Spain in June, an accident that has rendered the former Blues defender both paralysed and confined to a wheelchair.
The Daily Mail report that Hutchinson, whilst staying at the Hotel Marco Polo in the Spanish resort of Ibiza, “allegedly plunged off a hotel balcony into a swimming pool,” before adding that he was transferred to the local Nuestra Señora del Rosario hospital with “cervical trauma paraplegia.”
Hutchinson, who came through the youth ranks at St Andrews made just four first team appearances for the Blues, including one in the Premier League, playing 90 minutes in a 2-0 loss to Leeds United in the 2002/03 season.
He left Birmingham City for then League Two side Darlington, making 40 appearances across three seasons in the Football League, three seasons where his progress was hampered by a series of knee injuries.
Hutchinson left Darlington and moved to York City at the start of the 2007 summer transfer window, before moving to Harrogate Town at the opening of the following year’s window. It was at Harrogate Town that Hutchinson brought down the curtain on his footballing career, retiring there on December 1 last year.
The BBC report brother-in-law Lee Savage as saying that the injuries that Hutchinson suffered were “devastating” and that “he (Hutchinson) is continuing the long, hard process of further rehabilitation,…adapting to life in a wheelchair.” Joey Hutchinson’s sister, Leann, added that his fighting spirit will see him through saying: “He is a fighter and I know he will fight as hard as he can to get through this.”
A benefit match is planned for Saturday May 6, at St Andrews, between the ‘Blues’ team that won the play-off final at the Millennium Stadium during his time at the club (2000-2003) and an all-star Select XI. Reported to be featuring at the game will be Trevor Francis, who gave Hutchinson his début, as well as other players such as Dele Adebola and David Holdsworth.