CRICKETER Billy Cookson, from Chippenham, has vowed to play again once he recovers from serious multiple injuries to his arms and legs.

The promising youngster has told supporters that he can’t imagine not being able to play another game.

Speaking on a link from his hospital bed in Melbourne, Australia, the 23-year-old told a packed audience at a charity auction in Trowbridge that he was overwhelmed by the generosity of supporters who have already raised over £15,800.

He said: “The kind of response that has happened due to this accident has just been monumental - it’s been incredible really.

“There’s been a few tears from some of the messages that I’ve been sent and some of the articles that have been written. It has been just absolutely crazy the way that people have responded.

“I do want to play a game of cricket again in my lifetime. There’s no doubt actually that I will play it again.”

Mr Cookson started his cricketing career with Chippenham Cricket Club and also played football for Corsham Town Football Club.

He went to Australia in the autumn to follow his dream of playing there but tragedy struck when he was driving a pick-up truck to deliver tools on his first day in a new job and was involved in a head on crash with a bus. He suffered severe multiple injuries to his head, lungs, arms, legs and ankles in the collision on the Murray Valley highway near Melbourne.

His friends in Trowbridge and Wiltshire, where he is a wicket keeper and batsman, rallied to his support when they heard the news. So far, they have raised £7,500 with an auction and more than £8,300 online to help speed his recovery. His family says it could take nine months or more before he is fit enough to return home.

To donate to the appeal, visit