A goalkeeper for a non-league Suffolk side managed to play on for more than an hour despite suffering a lacerated kidney in a game.

David Leader was between the sticks for Long Melford for their game against Kirkley and Pakefield on Saturday afternoon.

The 24-year-old took a blow in the 20th minute after making a save, but played on as the Villagers did not have a replacement goalkeeper on the bench.

Leader thought the pain was due to the impact of the collision with a Kirkley player, but he realised blood was in his urine after the game.

He went to hospital and was diagnosed with a grade 4 laceration on one of his kidneys that is 4cm deep.

East Anglian Daily Times: The 24-year-old suffered the injury in Suffolk on SaturdayThe 24-year-old suffered the injury in Suffolk on Saturday (Image: Long Melford FC)

The freak injury will rule Leader out for the rest of the season – and he is unsure when he'll be able to return to playing again.

He said: "I can't remember too much about what happened. I know I made a save and went to grab the ball.

"I remember being in a lot of pain. At the time I was thinking I could play on.

"It was only my third or fourth game after my previous injury, which kept me out for eight or nine weeks.

"I'm now waiting on a second scan, so hopefully there's no more complications.

"It's quite draining, to be honest. It's a tough one to take. I was also meant to go away to Rome this weekend with my missus, but I've obviously had to cancel that.

"But my first thought is to make sure I'm okay. I know I'm out for the season at least now so we'll have to see where I am at next year."

David Hennessey, manager of Long Melford, added: "We're really rallying around him. He's obviously deeply frustrated by this.

"You don't expect to play a game of football and come away with a potentially life-altering injury."