Burnley man’s role in Tunisia hero fund-raiser

Saera Wilson and Matthew James. (S)

Saera Wilson and Matthew James. (S)

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A Burnley man is grouping together with other gas engineers to fund-raise for “one of their own” shot and injured in Friday’s Tunisia gun attack.

Ian Spedding, of Ebor Street, is playing his part in raising funds for gas engineer Matthew James (30) from Wales who was shot several times by the gunman while shielding his fiancée Saera Wilson.

Ian Spedding. (S)

Ian Spedding. (S)

Friday’s atrocity at a popular beach resort claimed 38 lives, with 15 of those so far confirmed as British.

Mr James is now back in the country receiving hospital treatment.

Ian said: “On Friday I went on one or two forums and said we should be helping on of our own and can we do something about it.

“Allen Hart set up the Facebook page but we didn’t know Gareth Williams had already set up the fund. We have a fantastic group of admin people.

“I think he only set it up for £100 but this morning we’ve just broken through £10,000. It’s gone viral. We have 2,500 members in the Facebook group.

“We’re just a big bunch of big hearted lads. Matthew is an absolute hero.

“A lot of other good has come too. They are getting married in 2017 and there have been offers including to take the wedding photographs for free. The response has just been brilliant.

Mr James’s mum, Kathryn Matthews, wrote on the fund page: “I am Mathew’s mum, I just want you all to know we are overwhelmed by your kindness & support.

“Mathew aka Sas the gas has a long road ahead of him in his recovery & you amazing, caring people will help ease the worry for himself & his family.

“We cant thank you enough for what you have all done. Our prayers go out to all those who lost their lives, their families & the others who were injured. God bless you all.xx”

And she added on the Facebook page: “I really hope you guy’s who set this up for my son & his family get to meet him when he has recovered.

“He & Saera are now on home turf, he’s in good spirits & is getting the very best of care.

“So proud of him, after being the 1st to be shot & making sure Saera got to safety he held the hand of an elderly gent who lay dying next to him, totally overwhelmed by it all.xx”

Go to www.gofundme.com/xydfac or www.facebook.com/groups/TheMatthewJamesFund/ for the Facebook page.