Bolton star in mercy dash for Avi

By Simon Griver, December 22, 2010
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Heyday: Avi Cohen in his Liverpool days

Heyday: Avi Cohen in his Liverpool days

Tamir Cohen, the Bolton Wanderers midfielder, has been given special dispensation to be at the bedside of father Avi who is in a critical condition in an Israeli hospital following a road accident.

Cohen, 54, suffered severe head injuries after his motorbike was involved in a collision with a car near Ramat Gan on Monday.

Cohen, the first Israeli to play in England, was rushed to Tel Aviv's Ichilov Hospital where he was immediately taken into surgery.

A tearful Tamir left his father's bedside to ask all those who know his father to pray for him. He had been unable to get a flight back from snowbound England but agent Pini Zahavi, who was in London, used his powers of influence to ensure that both got a seat.

Avi's son, Tamir

Avi's son, Tamir

Avi Cohen, chairman of the Israel Professional Footballers Association, was on the way to a dental appointment when a car swerved to avoid another vehicle and hit his scooter outside of the Diamond Exchange in Ramat Gan.

Cohen was knocked out when the ambulance arrived several minutes later and, as we went to press, had yet to regain consciousness. The driver of the car was released without charges.

The ex-Liverpool defender had only started driving the scooter over the past year to avoid Tel Aviv's worsening traffic congestion. His wife, Dorit, said: "The doctors are not optimistic, but we believe he will pull through. Avi is strong and will not give up on life so easily. I ask everyone to pray for him."

    Last updated: 2:28pm, December 22 2010