Ex-Town starlet battles back from horrific injury

A FORMER Ipswich Town player is recovering after suffering a horrific injury which left doctors fearing permanent damage to his eyesight.

A FORMER Ipswich Town player is recovering after suffering a horrific injury which left doctors fearing permanent damage to his eyesight.

Matt Bloomfield, who now plays for Wycombe Wanderers, was playing in the first round of the Carling Cup against Peterborough United when he was involved in a horror clash of heads.

The 25-year-old midfielder, originally from the Felixstowe area, broke his nose, jaw, and had multiple fractures to both of his cheekbones following the incident on August 11.

He said: “I did not see the challenge coming. I headed the ball and just felt a crush on my face and I was just overcome with pain. It was the most painful thing that I have ever experienced. It was horrible and there was blood pouring from my nose. I did not know what to do.

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“Everyone was pretty shocked and just telling me to keep calm and try and relax. They saw the blood coming from my nose and realised it was quite bad.”

After being treated on the pitch, Matt was rushed to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford by ambulance. Club medics would not let him look at his face in the mirror because they did not want him to see the extent of his injuries.

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After being kept in overnight he was taken into theatre the following day, where he spent three hours in surgery.

Doctors inserted two plates in each cheekbone and elastic bands to hold the top of his jaw in place.

Following the surgery, he was on a liquid diet for a week and lost 5kg in weight. Surgeons were initially concerned that his eyesight could be affected but thankfully that has not proved to be the case.

And he admitted he did not leave the house a great deal following surgery, which left his face swollen and bruised. “I did not really go out much for a week afterwards as I looked scary,” he said.

His latest injury follows another horror injury he suffered towards the end of the 2007/8 season when he tore his cruciate ligament in his knee, which put him out of action for nine months.

“The last couple of years have been pretty disappointing,” he admitted. “But this was definitely the most painful injury that I have had.

“It was disappointing but immediately afterwards I was just concerned about my health and the doctors were talking about my eyesight. I just wanted to make sure that my health was okay but now I have got back to wanting to play.

“These things happen in football. Hopefully I will get over this and I will still have from November onwards to play for the rest of the season.”

Following surgery, he has spent the past few weeks in the Felixstowe area visiting his family and girlfriend, Madeleine Meadows.

And he is extremely grateful for the support he has received.

“My girlfriend and family have been brilliant,” he said. “I have been able to do very little since the surgery and they have looked after me brilliantly. The club has also been very supportive and I am just really looking forward to getting back and playing again.”

MATT Bloomfield, nicknamed 'Blooms', is Wycombe Wanderers' longest-serving player having joined the League One side from Ipswich Town in December 2003.

He was part of a glorious crop of talent which came through the Town ranks. As a teenager, he was an integral part of the Ipswich youth teams midfield, alongside Darren Ambrose and Ian Westlake, which went on a glorious run to the semi-finals of the FA Youth Cup in 2001.

He is a lifelong Town fan who signed for the club when he was just 12. However, he joined Wanderers on a free transfer after admitting that the lure of working with the then manager Tony Adams was too big an opportunity to turn down.

Known as a tenacious and hard-working midfielder, he is a now a regular fixture in the Wycombe Wanderers starting 11.

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