Grimsby Town players send messages of support to injured soldier James Johnson (Video)
“GET Well Soon Johnno – we are backing you and the boys.”
That was the message from Grimsby Town FC to Grenadier Guard James Johnson, recovering in hospital after being injured in Afghanistan.
Friends of James gathered at the club’s training ground on Cheapside, in Waltham, yesterday to record a message from his number one team.
The club’s joint manager, Paul Hurst, told him: “I know things are tough, but keep believing. What you do is extremely brave. What we have done to say we are thinking of you is only a small thing, but we all hope it helps.
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“Keep fighting. I am sure you can turn the odds and make a full recovery.”
Players took time out from their training to wish James a speedy recovery in a video message, issuing the call: “Come on James. We are right behind you. We are backing the boys.”
Dale Ladson, from the club, said: “We are always pleased to help the Forces. We get lots of requests to sign T-shirts or St George flags.
“We are very pleased to help when we can.”
James’ friends, Andy Graham, 25, Bobby Winn, 20, and Clark Simons, 22, aim to use the footage to compile a video from friends and family to send to their injured mate.
They also have messages from regulars at The Countryman pub, where James visits when he is on leave and enjoys playing pool with his dad.
Bobby said: “We want to let him know that we are all still thinking of him, even though we can’t be with him.
“He is going to be in hospital for about five more months so we will visit him and make sure he is fine and having a laugh.
“There are lots of people at The Countryman thinking of him. We all play for Winn’s FC and plan to do something for him.
“Johnno is always up for a laugh. He is a kind genuine person and we are all missing him.
“I know he is missing not being able to get to the pub, but we raise a glass to him each time we go.”
He told how the landlord, Justin Timmerhues, had visited him in hospital.
Bar manager Sarah Wallis, who is an old classmate of James, said: “We have all sent messages telling him to keep his chin up and hope it is not long before he is back at the bar.”
And Andy added: “It was brilliant of the Grimsby Town players to take the time to send the message. James is a lifelong fan. He goes to games whenever he is back home.”
Mum Carole told how James also supports Manchester United and had received a signed letter and an annual from Sir Alex Ferguson. It was arranged by James’ uncle, David Williams, who is a keen Liverpool fan.
James visited Stamford Bridge, the home of European champions Chelsea, earlier this year to help raise money for troops, where he met former England captain John Terry and defender Joe Cole.
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