Friends of decorator who broke neck raise £4,000 for his rehabilitation

Fundraiser held for Luton man Richard Henry who broke his neck falling off a ladder. wk 14 apl PNL-140104-111930001
Fundraiser held for Luton man Richard Henry who broke his neck falling off a ladder. wk 14 apl PNL-140104-111930001

Friends and family of a ‘die hard’ Hatters fan who broke his neck after falling from a ladder rallied together to raise more than £4,000 for his rehabilitation.

Painter and decorator Richard Henry, 52, narrowly escaped being paralysed after falling off a ladder over a staircase banister- breaking his neck, shoulder, two fingers and puncturing a lung.

Richard was taken to Queen’s Hospital in Romford and is on his way to making a full recovery, but the self-employed 52-year-old has been unable to work since the accident in January and faces another two months out of action.

Former colleague Lee Cowley organised a fundraising evening for Richard on Friday, which saw 200 friends and Luton Town fans gather at St John’s Parish Centre in Sundon Park.

The event, which was attended by former Hatters Kingsley Black and Adam Watkins, raised £4,000 through ticket sales, a raffle and an auction- with all the money going to help Richard through his recovery.

Top earning auction items on the night were a signed Luton Town shirt and a West Ham jersey donated by ex-Luton Town academy product Matt Taylor.

Rob English also donated an all inclusive holiday for two to Spain, which he is unable to go on.

Mr Cowley, who is head of coaching of the Luton Town FC academy, said: “It was a really bad accident and I thought Richard was lucky to be alive after. When I went to go and see him the first thing he said was that we wouldn’t be able to make the Luton game which shows how mad he is about the club.

“As he is self-employed he won’t be earning until he can return to work so we just wanted to help out. Everyone felt the same.”

Mr Cowley added his surprise at the figure raised.

He said: “Initially I was aiming for about £1,500 but everyone was fantastic and showed so much support. Alot of Richard’s old teammates from Sporting Lewsey came out and there were lots of friends and ex-colleagues.

“Everyone was excellent in donating prizes and we also had the venue and DJ for nothing which means everything goes toward Richard. The whole evening surpassed my expectations, I did not anticipate so many people to turn out and donate so generously.”