Former Carlisle United youth player Danny Hodgson's family say guilty plea 'closes one chapter'

The family of a Cumbrian footballer who was severely injured in Australia have welcomed a guilty plea from the teenager accused of attacking him.

Danny Hodgson - a former Carlisle United youth player who now plays for Edith Cowan University football team in Joondalup, Western Australia - was hospitalised following a night out in Perth earlier this year.

He has spent much of the time since the events in September in intensive care - including time in an induced coma - in Perth and last month moved to a new hospital to begin a grueling rehabilitation programme.

A 17-year-old was charged with grievous bodily harm and today appeared at Perth Children's Court, where he entered a guilty plea. The teenager, who cannot be named for legal reasons, will return to court early next year, with a sentencing hearing expected in February.

Danny's parents - Nicola and Peter Hodgson, of Cleator Moor - released a statement following the news.

Danny - who was nicknamed "ironman" by the doctors who treated him in intensive care - is now being treated in Fiona Stanley Hospital in Perth.

Following his injury he received support from across the world of football.

Danny Hodgson with his father.

Fundraising efforts were launched with generated the cash needed for his parents to visit him in Australia. Nicola and Peter were allowed to visit their son in hospital for compassionate reasons under Australia's Covid-19 protocols.

More fundraising is being carried out to support Danny's partner and family while they attend to him.

To mark his 26th birthday, Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo sent Danny his best wishes.