Footballer suffers horror injury

A TALENTED footballer may never be able to play again after suffering a horrendous injury which led to a game being abandoned.

Anthony Bond

A TALENTED footballer may never be able to play again after suffering a horrendous injury which led to a game being abandoned.

Centre forward Michael Lewis, 25, was playing for Woodbridge Athletic on Saturday when he was involved in a collision with the goalkeeper of opponents Capel Plough.

The injury resulted in an open wound where a bone went straight through his leg. He broke his left ankle and shinbone and dislocated his ankle. The injury was described by his manager as 'the worst football injury I have come across in 30 years'.

“It was a really innocuous challenge,” Mr Lewis, who also plays for Hadleigh Goldstar Athletic, said. “It was a through ball and I have gone at the same time as their keeper and he got there slightly before me and it was just a collision. Apparently I went flying in the air but I cannot remember that. I remember writhing around on the floor in pain and I was just crushing somebody's hand because I was in so much pain.

“The pain was immense. I just remember grabbing the floor and dragging up anything that I could grip and then the shock kicked in and I was freezing. Everybody came over and shouted 'do not move him'.

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“I did not see the bone because I was face down and the lads did not want me to see it. I was in hospital later when I saw the gash, probably three inches in area, and the bone was sticking out like a spare rib.”

After spending two nights at Ipswich Hospital, Mr Lewis, who lives in Ipswich, was yesterdaytransferred to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. He has been told that he will need surgery, a skin graft and may never play again.

“When I was told that I might not play again I was gutted and was almost close to tears,” he said. “But since then I have got the outlook that anything that I can salvage - whether the recovery takes one year or two - I can take as a bonus. But it is debatable whether I go back to playing for Woodbridge.”

Mr Lewis, who is in his first season playing for Woodbridge Athletic, has also been overwhelmed by the support he has received - both from his teammates and the goalkeeper for Capel Plough who he was involved in the collision with.

“The lads have been absolutely brilliant,” he said. “They came up at various points on Sunday and the manager has been constantly on the phone to me.”

Paul Hadley, manager at Woodbridge Athletic, who play in the Metaltec SIL league, said: “It was very emotional and upsetting. He is a very talented footballer. I would say that it is the worst footballer injury that I have come across in 30 years.”

The game was abandoned following the injury in the 70th minute with the score at 1-1.