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Hurt Northern Ireland football fan ‘hopes to be kicking a ball around soon'

Northern Ireland football fan Ben Crossley (23) from Belfast is recovering at home from a three-storey fall in Lyon on June 17
Gareth McKeown

A NORTHERN Ireland football fan who suffered horrific injuries in a three-storey fall in France has told how he hopes to be "kicking a ball around soon".

Ben Crossley (23) from Belfast said he was "lucky to be alive" fell from a three-storey hotel window in Lyon on June 17.

He sustained multiple fractures to his face including his jaw, nose, cheek bones and eye sockets as well as smashing his teeth, shattering his knee and spraining his ankle.

A football coach in Wisconsin in the USA since August 2014 Ben travelled over to the European Championships with a group of friends.

He returned home on July 5 and in a positive update on Thursday said he was on the road to recovery.

In the online post he thanked all those who have supported him and helped raise almost £4,000 towards his medical expenses.

"I visited the fracture clinic last week at the Ulster hospital and doctors are happy with how my knee is healing," Ben said, confirming his zimmer frame has been traded in for crutches.

The Northern Ireland fan suffered extensive injuries to his face and teeth in the accident and up until Monday had metal attached to his teeth, similar to braces and had to use elastic bands at night to hook his top and bottom set together to reset his jaw to its natural bite.

"On Monday they cut the metal out, it was a slow and at times painful process but my mouth is more comfortable now. I can communicate, eat and clean my teeth a lot easier.

My teeth are still very sensitive, some loose and cracked, so I am still eating soft foods that don’t require too much chewing. Lots of jelly and ice cream," he said.

While it may be many months until he is back to full health the Belfast football fan is remaining positive

"Thanks for all the encouragement and support and keeping me in your thoughts and prayers. I hope to be kicking a ball around soon," he added.

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