AN online fundraising campaign has been launched in support of a popular Keighley Cougars director who was left with life-changing injuries following a violent robbery at his home.

Mike Smith suffered a devastating head injury after being struck during the incident, last November.

Both he and his wife Judith were at home when the intruder struck, forcing the couple to hand over money and their car keys.

Mike was left unable to walk, talk or use his right arm, and spent almost six months in hospital – firstly at Leeds General Infirmary and then at Airedale, where he began his rehabilitation.

He has now been discharged, but is still wheelchair-bound and requiring dedicated care.

Close family friend Helen Avison has set up a GoFundMe page – at – with the aim of raising £10,000 towards mobility aids and equipment, specialist speech therapy and physio.

The campaign has so far raised over £1,700.

Helen says: "The intruder rendered Mike helpless and continued to force Jude to hand over money and their car keys. As you can imagine this was a harrowing experience – in addition, their lives have been turned upside down with Mike’s injuries.

"Unfortunately he has been left wheelchair-bound and will require the help of carers, twice a day, for the foreseeable future.

"Also, the trauma to Mike's skull has caused him to suffer with dyspraxia, and aphasia – a very isolating condition which has meant he cannot remember words or speak clearly, making communicating very difficult.

"Even though Mike will undergo physiotherapy to help with his mobility and speech, there are no guarantees these will ever improve. To assist with his rehabilitation, we are raising money so that equipment can be purchased to help with his quality of life, which has been so drastically impaired due to this violent and unprovoked attack.

"Mike and Jude are very humble and modest and have put on an incredibly brave face throughout all of this. We are just asking people to please help us if you can to make sure they have all the equipment they need to support them on this daunting journey."