WEST Ham United would like to thank everyone that took part in the Joe Osben Charity Auction and Raffle during the match against Leeds United on Friday evening.
An incredible total of £14, 507 was raised on behalf of
Joe, who was knocked off his bike by a car earlier this year and
suffered serious head injuries.
The proceeds from the Raffle will be split between two health facilities that have played major roles in Joe's recovery.
Half will go towards Joe's ongoing treatment at the North Chailey Heritage Rehabilitation Centre in East Sussex. Joe has been at the Centre for nearly two months now and is making excellent progress. He is already taking lessons in Maths and English and is even allowed to go home at weekends.
The other half of the proceeds will go to the Kings College Hospital in South London, where Joe spent the first weeks after the accident in intensive care. In particular, the money will be spent to buy at least two ice blankets, which played a key role in Joe's survival.
West Ham United Academy Administrator Trevor Lewin explained: "When young children experience physical trauma the temperature control in their bodies stops working and they get so hot that their body can't function properly.
"The ice blanket is like a sleeping bag that keeps their body temperatures down. It was used on Joe in the days after his accident and is a vital piece of machinery. But the hospital is desperately short of them. They only have one at the moment, but we are hoping to add at least two with the money raised."
Although it will be many months before Joe is allowed to leave the Rehabilitation Centre for good, he was well enough to attend the Leeds game on Friday with his dad Steve and Trevor Lewin, Trevor Webb and Jimmy Hampshire of the West Ham United Academy. Joe was treated to a tour of the Boleyn Ground, a chance to meet the Hammers players in the dressing room and a seat to watch the match in the Directors' Box.
His dad Steve was delighted that Joe could attend the game and thanked everyone who helped make his special day possible. He said: "Joe had an absolutely wonderful time. We couldn't be more grateful to everyone that helped Joe and made us all feel so welcome.
"I couldn't believe the amount of money that was raised. I didn't expect anywhere near £14,000, and it proves that there are a lot of people out there with great hearts who really do want to help.
"Joe hasn't stopped talking about the game since. It has lifted his spirits no end, which will only benefit his recovery. Joe has taken a few steps now with the aid of a walker and his progress has amazed everyone.
"We're hoping that he could he home in six months time, which would be fantastic. The reception we got out on the pitch at half-time was completely overwhelming and I'd like to thank everyone who took part in the Raffle and made it such a brilliant evening."
Managing Director Paul Aldridge said: "West Ham United have been delighted to help Joe and his family and the Club would like to thank everyone that took part in the Auction and Raffle.
"Joe's courage and determination are remarkable and he is making tremendous progress. We hope to see him back at Upton Park very soon."