During his spell at Leeds
United Rio Ferdinand suffered a tendon strain in his knee...watching
television! As his manager at the time, David O'Leary, explained: "He
was watching television and had his foot up on the coffee table. He had it
there in a certain position for a number of hours - and strained a tendon
behind his knee."
Another player who found a
television set to be more than a match was David 'Calamity' James who once
pulled a muscle in his back when reaching for a television remote control.
James also missed a match at Liverpool suffering from a RSI injury to his
thumb which he blamed on his excessive computer-game habit.
not trivial was the injury suffered by Bert Trautmann when
playing in goal for Manchester City against Birmingham City in the 1956 FA
Cup Final. With Manchester City 3-1 up and 17 minutes remaining Trautmann
dived at the feet of opposing forward Peter Murphy to prevent a goal
scoring opportunity, the collision seeing him needing treatment for
several minutes. With no subs in those days the former German
prisoner-of-war played on although clearly in distress and made several
more saves in helping Manchester City to their first FA Cup success in
over 20 years. The pain continued and three days later he discovered that
he had five broken vertebrae - he had broken his neck! His surgeon was
blunt in his assessment of the injury - 'You should be dead' he
told the player. But Trautmann always denied that it was a brave act, 'If
I had known I had broken my neck, I would have been off like a shot.'
It was seven months before he played
again and in total he made 545 league and cup appearances for Manchester
City before retiring in 1964. Forty years later he met the Queen and she
asked him 'Have you still got that pain in your neck?' Yes,
probably the most famous footballing injury of them all.
the second League match of the 1975/76 season at Birmingham City, Manchester United's goalkeeper
Alex Stepney became so animated in shouting
at his own defenders that he dislocated his jaw and had to be taken to
While at Southampton goalkeeper Dave Beasant missed 8 weeks of a season
after a confrontation with a bottle of salad cream. He knocked it over and
attempted to control the falling bottle with his foot but only succeeded
in rupturing his ankle ligaments.
When Manchester United were beaten 2-0 by Arsenal at Old
Trafford on Saturday 15th February 2003 in an FA Cup Third Round tie
United manager Alex Ferguson was not a happy man. Famous for his
'hair-dryer' treatment of players this time he kicked a boot in a moment
of anger. Not much news-worthiness in that except that the boot hit
'Golden Balls' David Beckham in the face causing a cut over his left eye
which needed stitches. It may have been a trivial injury but it was one
that then made the headlines the world over.
In November 1970 in a Fourth Division match at Colchester, Brentford
goalkeeper Chic Brodie suffered a serious injury when in collision with a
dog that had invaded the playing area. The dog decided to chase the
ball when it was passed back to Brodie - the 'keeper didn't notice the dog
and they collided leaving the player with a shattered kneecap which ended
his senior playing career.
In May 2008 Rochdale striker Lee Thorpe could only watch his team-mates
from the sidelines when they played their League 2 play-off final against
Stockport at Wembley after having broken his arm in three places a couple
of weeks earlier. He did it in an arm-wrestling contest with team-mate
Rene Howe on the coach to the semi-final against Darlington!
Partick Thistle manager John Lambie knew exactly what to say to his trainer when his striker Colin McGlashan was dazed and didn't know who he was -
"That's great. Tell him
and get him back on."
An Italian playing for Grimsby Town is always likely to be a fans'
favourite, especially when the player himself contributed out of his own
pocket a large part of the fee than allowed him to move from
A to Lincolnshire. But as popular as Ivano Bonetti was with the fans that
earned no brownie points with manager Brian Laws when he considered the
Italian had not tried hard enough. After a 3-2 defeat away to Luton Town
on Saturday 10th February 1996 (just a month after they had beaten Luton
7-1 in an FA Cup tie) Laws confronted the former Juventus player about his
lack of effort and the confrontation ended when Laws threw a plate of
chicken wings at Bonetti, breaking his cheekbone. From then on the legacy
of that amazing signing by Grimsby was forgotten and just those chicken
wings got the headlines.
When Aldershot visited Chester for a
Division 4 fixture on New Years Day 1966 given they were visiting the
Welsh borders it was not much of a coincidence that they faced two Chester
full-backs with the surname Jones. What did turn out to be a very strange
coincidence though was by the time the final whistle was blown both
full-backs - Ray Jones and Bryn Jones (not related) - had both ended up in
hospital after separate incidents, both with broken legs! Despite going
down to 10 men (only one substitute in those days) Chester won the match
The joys of married life! In December 2004 when playing for Servette
against Schaffhausen in a Swiss League match Paulo Diogo jumped on one of
the boundary fences to celebrate a Servette goal. Not being aware that his
wedding ring was caught on the fence he jumped down leaving behind the
ring and much of his finger, the rest having to be amputated in hospital.
And he was booked by ref Florian Etter for excessive celebration of the
the days before substitutes injured players were often expected to stay on
the pitch and do their duty. In one instance, on Saturday 16th February 1952
at Villa Park, Stoke goalkeeper Dennis Herod suffered a first half injury
in a First Division match.
He was patched up and sent out for the second half and asked 'to make a nuisance of
himself' on the left wing. He did - and scored the winning goal in Stoke's
3-2 victory over Aston Villa. His injury - a broken arm!
In March 2009 three-times FIFA World Player of the Year Ronaldo made his
competitive debut for Brazilian side Corinthians as a sub after thirteen
months out of the game following surgery for a career-threatening knee
injury. He survived the 20 minutes he spent on the pitch without a problem
only to end up with a badly bruised and
swollen right eye after being hit by a microphone when a post-match media
scrum surrounded him while attempting to get an interview.
When Uruguay's Juan Hohberg scored an equaliser just
three minutes before the end of normal time of the 1954 World Cup
semi-final against Hungary he was knocked unconscious as his team-mates
celebrated the goal.
In October 2010 it was announced that French footballer Yoan Gouffran
had an allergy which was a bit of a problem for a footballer - grass. His
manager at Bordeaux, former Fulham boss Jean Tigana, said 'For a
footballer, it's embarrassing'. Perhaps so, but thankfully there is
now one footballer who won't be making intentional dives!
not just the players who suffer the injuries. In November 2011 Manchester City manager Roberto
Mancini stood up quickly in a tense moment in a Champions League match
at Villarreal and discovered that the dugouts at the
El Madrigal ground were not for standing up in - low
roofs!. He spent the rest of the match with an ice-pack on his head.
When 11-year-old Charlie
Silverwood attended a friendly at Dean Court in July 2013 he knew it
was going to be a memorable match - Bournemouth v Real Madrid no less -
but he didn't realise just how memorable it would be. An early free-kick
from Cristiano Ronaldo missed the target but hit the youngster full on the
arm and although in pain - in true Bert Trautmann fashion - he watched the
match to the end. He then found out in hospital that he had broken his
wrist and needed an op to reset the bone. I guess most of us have
broken-bone stories but one which includes a capacity attendance, Real
Madrid, Cristiano Ronaldo, a singed Real shirt as an apology and
nationwide media attention has surely got to be a tad more interesting
than tripping over a kerb!