British ice hockey player suffers life-threatening injuries after crash in Thailand

A talented ice hockey player from Blackburn in northwest England sustained life-threatening injuries after a motorbike crash in Thailand.

Former Bradford Bulldogs defenceman, 24 year old Josh Richardson, had an accident on a Thai island on Friday, February 3.

Richardson sustained serious head injuries and was rushed to the intensive care unit at Bangkok Hospital, where he has undergone several operations.

The young hockey player is currently on a ventilator after having operations on the left side of his body, including surgery on the part of his brain which controls his speech.

Before the accident, Richardson and his friend travelled 16 hours to an island. Richardson was hungry in the middle of the night and went out on his rented motorbike to find food.

When his friend woke up the next morning, Richardson was nowhere to be found. The exact circumstances of the crash are not clear.

Richardson was in between jobs so decided to travel to Thailand with a friend from the University of Leeds, where he studied from 2017-21.

Bradford Bulldogs’ team manager Joanne Gibson told the Telegraph & Argus

“We do not know what happened. All we know is that he has been knocked or fallen off his bike.”

Joanna started a GoFundMe appeal to raise funds for Richardson’s mounting medical bills…

“Hi Everyone, I’m trying to help to raise funds towards the medical fees for Josh Richardson who was involved in a serious motorcycle accident whilst on holiday in Thailand.

“Due to the nature of the accident, it is possible that the insurance company may not cover the costs of his treatments and operations.

“Please help where you can, however small the donation it’s really appreciated by the family.
Thank you

Friends, family and the hockey community have come together to raise £13,229 (550,000 baht) of the £20,000 (840,000 baht) goal so far.

Richardson’s parents Jim and Susan flew out to be by their son’s side in Thailand. Susan recently returned to the UK.

Susan told the Telegraph & Argus

“It was such terrible news when we heard what had happened.

“He is in a bad way and we flew out there to be with him as soon as we could.

“We’re not sure what’s going to happen and we’re so grateful for everything that people are doing back home – it means such a lot to our family.”

After starting out playing ice hockey with his hometown team Blackburn Juniors, Richardson played in Sheffield for a season before joining Bradford Bulldogs in 2013 when he was just 15 years old.

The defenceman spent most of his career playing in West Yorkshire, playing solely for the Bulldogs between 2018-22 before signing full-time with Welsh team Deeside Dragons, who play in the National Ice Hockey League (NIHL) north division.

As well as hockey, Richardson worked for the NHS Direct in Leeds and was travelling in Southeast Asia before starting a new job.

His current team Deeside Dragons and former team Bradford Bulldogs are arranging a fundraising game to help cover Richardson’s medical costs.

Bradford Bulldogs said…

“On behalf of the Bulldogs family, we wanted to send our heartfelt sympathies during this difficult time.

“We were saddened to hear about Josh’s accident in Thailand, and we want you to know that you are all in our thoughts and prayers.

“Please know that we are here for you and are sending all our best wishes for Josh’s speedy recovery.

“We hope that he feels the love and support from the entire Bulldogs community as he heals.”

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Leah is a translator and news writer for the Thaiger. Leah studied East Asian Religions and Thai Studies at the University of Leeds and Chiang Mai University. Leah covers crime, politics, environment, human rights, entertainment, travel and culture in Thailand and southeast Asia.