Footballer has emergency brain op abroad
A STAR of local league football had to be rushed into hospital for an emergency brain operation just two days into a holiday in Cyprus.Maldon Town defender Paul Goodacre spoke of the drama last night, but said he was on the mend and hoped to be back in action again in a matter of weeks.
By Dave Vincent
A STAR of local league football had to be rushed into hospital for an emergency brain operation just two days into a holiday in Cyprus.
Maldon Town defender Paul Goodacre spoke of the drama last night, but said he was on the mend and hoped to be back in action again in a matter of weeks.
Paul, who is 19 today, has girlfriend Katy Duncan to thank for insisting he saw a doctor for his recurring headaches while on holiday in Cyprus two weeks ago.
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The sports science student at Essex University said: "I had a headache on the second day of our holiday and wouldn't have done anything about it.
"She knew the general symptoms and insisted I see a doctor. It is a good job she did. She is a bit of a hero really. She phoned him without telephoning me. It was good common sense.
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"I've had the stitches taken out today by the local doctor."
He suffered from meningitis as a baby, and his father Steve Goodacre explained: "He has got a valve which drains fluid from his brain to his stomach. He had that replaced when he was four years old.
"It blocked when he was on holiday in Cyprus. He got sick and had headaches. He was very lucky his girlfriend was there and she handled everything."
The couple went on holiday on July 2, but Paul was taken into hospital just two days later, with the operation carried out on July 7. They flew home on Friday.
Mr Goodacre, who jetted out to Cyprus when the drama unfolded, said: "When I flew out I was able to talk to the neuro-surgeon before the operation and he was quite confident."
Paul's operation has put him out of Maldon's attractive friendly against Colchester United tomorrow night and may now delay the start of his playing season for several weeks.
"I've been told I will be able to start running in three weeks," said the footballer, who grew up in Maldon but currently lives in Colchester where he is a student.
"I am hoping to get back for the start of the season. Normally I go out road running and I enjoy going to the gym. Now I have got to take it easy."
He was driven to the Wallace Binder Ground to meet up with manager Colin Wallington and the team physio last night though he could only watch his team-mates training.
Wallington said: "When I heard about Paul's surgery it was a shock. From the club's point of view he is one of the best young centre-halves in the league. I would think he will be out a while and he is not the sort of player you can just replace. But I may look for someone on loan until he gets back – because when he is fit he will get straight into the side."
Last season the defender and fellow teenage centre-half Mark Emerson formed an impressive partnership as Maldon went all the way to the FA Vase semi-final, where they lost to AFC Sudbury.
And he was rumoured to be watched by several scouts from clubs in higher leagues.
"I had heard it," he said, "but you never know whether it is true.
"I know I am going to be bored while I can't play or train. I have just got to take it easy."