Members of a Northern Ireland supporters’ club are hoping for their friend’s safe return after he sustained serious injuries during a fall in Basel on Sunday.
Jim Devin (68), who is a member of the Antrim Northern Ireland Supporters’ Club, is set to undergo surgery tomorrow (Thursday) in Switzerland after suffering serious facial injuries while in Basel for Northern Ireland’s crunch tie with the Swiss.
The Antrim man’s wife and daughter are travelling to Basel today to be by his bedside.
Speaking to the News Letter, Antrim NISC chairman, Ray Taylor said: “As we left the hotel on our way to the meeting point, the weather took a turn for the worse, with torrential rain and hail.
“Jim had placed his hands in his pockets and had his head down for shelter when he tripped over a small kerb, sending him tumbling down a small embankment. He landed on his face and smashed his eye socket.”
Ray added: “It was a harrowing event for everyone who was with him as he did seem to be in a bad way after the fall.
“I’m glad I was capable of administering first aid at the scene until the ambulance arrived.
“A big thank you must go to the local police and ambulance crew who were quickly on the scene and to all the lads from our club who helped shelter Jim and keep him calm. Well done to all involved. We’re all wishing Jim a speedy recovery.”
Sending their friend well wishes on social media, a spokesperson for Antrim Northern Ireland Supporters’ Club said: “Our thoughts and prayers are with big Jim, one of our club members who took a fall in Switzerland on Sunday afternoon.
“He’s undergoing surgery on his eye in the morning, before hopefully getting out of hospital and getting home.”