Football bosses are welcoming news that ex-Bourne Town and Deeping Rangers defender Kris Jones has come out of a coma after being seriously injured in a road crash.
His present club, Sleaford Town, says: “His condition remains very serious and he is still very poorly but we are hopeful that this is a significant step on the long road to recovery and reuniting him back at home with his family.
“Everyone at the club knows what a fighter Kris is and believe in his ability to overcome these challenges.”
Spalding United manager Pat Rayment said: “The fact that he’s come out of his coma is a positive thing.
“I am ecstatic about that.”
Kris, the Sleaford Town manager, was critically injured when his car was involved in a crash with a lorry on the A1 in Nottinghamshire on Monday, August 4.
He was airlifted to Queen’s Medical Centre, Nottingham, and later moved to Lincoln County Hospital to be closer to his family.
Pat knew Kris from their days at Deeping and they have remained in touch.
He said: “I was talking to him on the day that he had his accident and that was about Mitch Griffiths, who we have signed.
“It just makes you reflect on things.
“You are here one minute and then something like that can happen – these things can happen in an instant.”
Bourne Town chairman Darren Munton said Kris remains very poorly, but the fact that he’s come out of his coma “is great news for everyone involved”.
He said: “There’s signs that he’s responding to people and smiling but he’s still very, very poorly.
“As a player he gave 100 per cent every game and he really is a fighter – he’s proving that now.”
Deeping Rangers manager Tuncay Korkmaz said: “I go a long way back with Kris.
“He’s an absolutely great guy.
“This is superb news knowing that he’s on the way to recovery, hopefully, but it is a long journey.”
Sleaford Town club secretary Jamie Shaw said goodwill messages to the club and Kris’s family went well into the hundreds if not the thousands.
Jamie said: “He’s come out of his coma but he’s still unable to speak and he has a breathing tube in at the moment.
“We are not sure whether he is recognising people or anything like that, but he is out of his coma and he does appear to be reacting to people’s voices with his eyes and his expressions.”
He said it’s likely Kris will be moved to a high dependency ward.
“It is now the long road to recovery, really,” said Jamie. “We will keep praying for further steps forward.”