Ward hits out at ‘scurrilous reporting’ of Bender injury

COLCHESTER United manager John Ward has hit out at some of the over-dramatic reporting that stemmed from Tom Bender’s head injury, sustained during last night’s Johnstone’s Paint Trophy match between Accrington Stanley and Tranmere.

COLCHESTER United manager John Ward has hit out at some of the over-dramatic reporting that stemmed from Tom Bender’s head injury, sustained during last night’s Johnstone’s Paint Trophy match between Accrington Stanley and Tranmere.

While the Essex club were in close contact with Accrington – Bender is on loan with the League Two club for the season – Ward was unhappy at some of the scare stories surrounding the 18-year-old’s plight.

As it is, Bender has since had the all-clear from a brain scan, had a comfortable night in hospital, and was talking to medical staff this morning.

“We were upset by some of the totally fictitious and scurrilous reporting that was coming out after last night’s game,” explained Ward.


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“The truth is that we were in touch with Accrington Stanley and their medical staff right from the start, when Tom was still on the pitch before he was being taken off by the ambulance. So we knew what was happening throughout.

“We therefore got all the information first hand, and we continued to get this from Accrington when he got to hospital.

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“Unfortunately, Tom had been the meat in the sandwich, in terms of a collision between the Accrington keeper and a Tranmere player. He got a punch off the keeper and was trapped between the two players.

“He was knocked out, and the medical staff spent a long time treating him on the pitch, because his health was paramount.

“It was similar to the case of Andy Bond (collision with keeper Mark Cousins during the summer friendly against Ipswich Town). It was a safety precaution.

“The rest of the players were obviously upset by Tom’s plight, and with the time taken to attend to Tom, it was rightly decided to abandon the match.

“But he soon had a scan and by 10.30pm I was telephoned to say that the results were clear. Tom had suffered no further damage, and they were the words from the doctor himself.

“Accrington Stanley were fantastic throughout. They kept us informed, and we were always in full contact with them. They dealt with it all very well.

“Tom was kept in hospital overnight, and the medical staff will review the situation today.

“His father was at the game, and went with him to the hospital. He was so assured that Tom was OK that he didn’t even need to stay in hospital overnight.

“It was just as well that his family were being kept informed, because some of the reporting was wrong and inappropriate,” added Ward.

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