THOUSANDS of pounds have been raised for a man who was attacked in a gym in Thailand.

Gary Reed from Hastings was hit with a dumbbell while exercising in Pattaya, on the east coast of the country, on May 16.

His sister Julie Stafford has set up a fundraising appeal for her brother, who needs surgery to reconstruct his eye socket.

The family are hoping to raise £15,000 to pay for the operation before he can return home.

So far, the GoFundMe has collected more than £3,000.

Gary told the BBC that the attack, which followed a disagreement with another tourist over whose turn it was to use a bench press, shattered the orbital bone around his eye.

He said: “He went to a rack behind me and picked up a seven-inch, 1kg dumbbell, then approaches me from behind and strikes me across my face with it.

"He has really butchered my face. I've got scars all around my eye, I've got a bleed on my eye. Over 50 per cent of the bottom part of my orbital bone is shattered.

“I really want to get home now.”

Julie said Gary had extended his holiday, but not his insurance.

“If we don't save his eye, it is going to sink into the back of his head and he is going to end up with no eye there at all," she told BBC South East.

The GoFundMe page has been flooded with messages wishing Gary a speedy recovery.

Michael Nelson said: “Just wrong what happened. I hope you reach your target soon. Stay safe Gary.”

Martjo Dijkstra, said he does not know Gary but was moved to help after hearing his story.

He wrote: “I am a Dutch guy living in London, personally I travelled to Asia a lot.

“I can Iimagine he needs support right now. I feel absolutely terrible after what happened to him and wish I could donate more money.

“I will pray for him to get a full recovery and I hope justice will be done. Wish him all the best and stay strong.”