Ex-Town star's wife in horror accident

By Derek Davis and Craig RobinsonFORMER Ipswich Town star Matt Holland spoke last night of his relief after his wife successfully underwent surgery after a horrific horse riding accident.

By Derek Davis and Craig Robinson

FORMER Ipswich Town star Matt Holland spoke last night of his relief after his wife successfully underwent surgery after a horrific horse riding accident.

Paula Holland was recovering in Colchester General Hospital last night following an operation to put four screws in her leg after she was badly injured following a fall from her horse.

Mr Holland, a former Blues captain, had been due to join up with the Republic of Ireland squad yesterday ahead of their World Cup qualifier with Israel, but he delayed his departure so he could be with his wife.


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It is believed Mrs Holland, a mother-of-two, was injured while riding her horse in the Colchester area, where the family lives, on Monday.

She was taken to Colchester General Hospital and underwent surgery yesterday to her injured leg.

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A relieved Mr Holland, who now plays for Charlton Athletic, said last night: “She has just come out of surgery, where she had four screws put in her leg.

“But the surgeon says the operation was successful and hopefully she will make a full recovery. It just shows that riding horses is more dangerous than playing football.”

Mr Holland said he intended joining up with his international team-mates today ahead of Saturday's match in Tel Aviv.

Republic of Ireland manager Brian Kerr said yesterday: “Matt Holland has been delayed, but is expected to arrive on Wednesday after his wife had an accident and she underwent an operation.”

Born in Ipswich, Mrs Holland, who used to work as an advertising sales executive for a daily newspaper on the south coast, is an accomplished horsewoman and often competes in equestrian events.

Mr Holland met his future wife when he was playing for Bournemouth and the couple have two sons, Jacob and Samuel.

The midfielder joined Ipswich Town from Bournemouth in July 1997 for £800,000 and soon became a crowd favourite by appearing in every senior match for the Blues - 223 games in succession - until being rested for a Worthington Cup match at Crewe in October 2001.

Mr Holland, 30, joined Charlton Athletic in June 2003 for a bargain £750,000 as Ipswich Town battled against their financial troubles and is now the London club's captain.

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