Family bowled over by Inverell support

A POLICE officer critically injured in a bike accident has been transferred closer to home to recover while his colleagues have been left sore and sorry after a fundraiser in his name.

Inverell officers sustained carpet burns, grazes and a few bumps as well as a bruised ego after going down to the mayor’s side in the charity cricket match which raised more than $11,000 for Senior Constable John Flemming.

The Inverell-based officer has now been transferred to Tamworth hospital where he is recovering from a serious head injury and other accident-related trauma.

Senior Constable Flemming had been in intensive care in Newcastle’s John Hunter Hospital since the accident, involving a car and his bicycle early last month, but now he’s showing good signs and on the road to recovery. “It’s good to be able to tell everyone the good news,” Inspector Rowan O’Brien said.

“I’m going across to Tamworth and I’ll be calling in and seeing John and I’m looking forward to talking to him about the fundraiser.”

The cricket match went full steam ahead in the town’s indoor arena after a rain-soaked Varley Oval was ruled out – much to the delight of the police team who didn’t fancy chasing balls across the larger ground.

“The mayor’s team won the evening, but we were certainly thrilled with the generosity of those that attended and the community response,” Inspector O’Brien said.

“In excess of $11,000 was raised just from the auction alone.”

The generosity has blown away Senior Constable Flemming’s family who went along to the match.

“John’s two sons were there, as was his brother, parents and other extended family members,” Inspector O’Brien said.

“They were certainly quiet overwhelmed by the support and the solidarity of the Inverell police.

“Certainly I’d like to acknowledge Senior Constable Vanessa Kelson and Heath Roberts, they were instrumental in organising the support from the community and the business houses and ensuring the success of the evening.”

A number of locals dug deep, spending big at the auction including a NSW-signed cricket’bat which was eventually sold for $4600 after a tight tussle between Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall and mayor Paul Harmon, while the game was full of laughs as the thin blue line went on the attack only to fall short.

“Certainly it was the most activity a few of us had done for quite awhile,” Inspector O’Brien joked.

“And there was a few bruised thighs from the accurate deliveries from the mayor’s bowlers but the pain and discomfort was all worth in regards to the money raised.”

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