Perth soccer player Danny Hodgson's parents secure flights from UK after son hurt in attack
The UK-based parents of a talented soccer player who is fighting for his life in a Perth hospital, after he was allegedly attacked by a 15-year-old boy, are set to arrive in Perth on Friday after securing tickets to fly to WA.
Friends and family said Danny Hodgson, an Edith Cowan University soccer club star and 2020 Football West Golden Boot winner, was leaving the city with teammates when he was punched from behind without warning near Perth Train Station early on Sunday.
He was taken to Royal Perth Hospital with significant head injuries and remains in intensive care.
Detectives have charged a 15-year-old boy over the attack.
Mr Hodgson's parents were granted permission to enter WA, but initially had trouble securing airline tickets due to the limited number of international flights entering WA.
But in a social media post updated last night, Mr Hodgson's mother Nicola announced airline tickets had been secured.
"It's incredible that in 24 hours we have been able to achieve the impossible. I cannot thank everyone enough who has been involved," she said.
"Danny still has a long journey ahead of him but the fact is that me and Peter will be by his side through it gives us enormous comfort."
Ms Hodgson also spoke of her gratitude for the support the family had received.
"It's the most emotional experience I've ever had," she said.
"One act of violence has spurred thousands of acts of kindness and for that we will be eternally grateful."
Hospital visit 'can be arranged': WA Health
Mr Hodgson's parents will not be given an exemption from quarantine after they arrive in Perth, but they appear set to be allowed a carefully controlled visit with their son in hospital.
The WA Health Department said the state's Chief Health Officer, Andrew Robertson, had given approval for them to travel to WA above the international flight cap.
"They will be required to complete 14 days in hotel quarantine," a spokesman said.
"When circumstances warrant, visits to an immediate family member in a hospital can be arranged under stringent protocols, including testing negative immediately before the visit and the wearing of full PPE.
"Dr Robertson will consider the circumstances at the time."
'Voice notes' from friends having impact
Teammate Ellis Healing said he had been out with Mr Hodgson on Saturday night and had spoken to him on the phone one minute before the attack.
He said the situation did not seem real until he saw the picture of Mr Hodgson on life support in ICU, where only his girlfriend, aunt and uncle could visit him.
"Apparently it's been having a bit of an impact on him.
"His fingers have been moving when he's been listening to the voice notes from his friends, so that's a little bit of positive news we've been having over the past couple of days."
Soccer club working to get parents to WA
A spokeswoman for ECU Joondalup FC said the club had been working closely with Mr Hodgson's parents and was pleased flights were able to be organised.
She said they were expected to arrive in Perth sometime on Friday.
Mr Hodgson moved to Perth in 2014 and was signed to the ECU Joondalup side in 2020.
He won a premiership and was the leading scorer in the National Premier League Western Australia in his first season at the club.
A GoFundMe page has been set up by Perth friends to support Mr Hodgson's recovery.
Mr Healing said some high-profile soccer players were either donating to the fundraiser or retweeting details of the GoFundMe campaign.
He said among them were Manchester United goalkeeper and personal friend, Dean Henderson, and retired England legend Alan Shearer.