Mildenhall: Relief after footballers escape serious injury

A FOOTBALL match had to be abandoned after two players suffered serious injuries just 15 minutes apart.

Mildenhall Town FC’s Steve Holder was left with a nasty gash on his head after colliding with a opposition player and then team-mate David Cooper was knocked out after smashing into a pitch-side hoarding.

Mr Holder, 24, of Bury St Edmunds, was taken to hospital and then Mr Cooper, of Beck Row, suffered whiplash, concussion and bruising to his chest and stomach. Paramedics treated Mr Cooper at the pitch side for an hour before they were satisfied it was safe to move him.

The teams’ managers and referee decided to call time on the Mildenhall Town versus Dereham clash – in the Ridgeons League Premier Division – after the second injury at Mildenhall’s ground. Mildenhall Town chairman Martin Tuck said it was “very, very unusual” for two players to end up in hospital during a match, adding: “I have never heard of anything like that before”.

Mr Cooper remembers little of the incident and only recalls waking up in the ambulance.

“My mum, dad and my fiancee were at the game,” he said. “I really don’t remember what happened at all. They said I was out for about five to 10 minutes. Everything is in working order and I think I’m quite lucky that I have not had a more serious injury.”

Mr Holder has returned to work, but he said he was taking it easy, while Mr Cooper is recovering at home.

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Mr Tuck added: “We were obviously very concerned about both players, particularly David, and thank goodness with how everything turned out and they have not been injured as badly as we first thought.”

He said Mr Cooper lost his footing and slipped under the barrier, catching his chest.

Mildenhall Town manager Christian Appleford said Mr Cooper had been “very lucky.”

“They were very worried he had a fracture to the neck,” he said.

Both Mr Tuck and Mr Appleford praised Mildenhall Town physiotherapist Nick Stubbings who looked after both players before they were taken to hospital. The score was 0-0 when the game was abandoned after 38 minutes. The game will be rescheduled, but a date has not yet been fixed.

Mr Tuck said the players would probably take a break from playing for a few weeks.

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