Here’s a treat for your Halloween, a look at some scary injuries, if you are keen!
David Busst – 8th April 1996 – Manchester United vs Coventry City
Busst, a central defender, went into the Manchester United box for a Sky Blues corner kick in this Premier League game at Old Trafford. Moments later, his career was over! A collision with United players Denis Irwin and Brian McClair resulted in Busst’s right leg collapsing under him and both his tibia and fibula bone fracturing. The break was so bad, the bone pierced through his sock! Blood had to be cleared off the pitch with water and sand as Busst was stretched off the playing area. Sadly, he would never play professionally again.
Henrik Larsson – 22nd October 1999 – Lyon vs Celtic
Before he could become a legend of the Hoops, Swedish striker Henrik Larsson had to endure some pain! A UEFA Cup match in Lyon saw the striker’s studs stick in the turf as he ran with an opponent to win the ball, resulting in his shin sickeningly bending and breaking!
He made a great recovery within 8 months to begin inflicting pain and torture on Scottish league defenders for the next 5 years before capping a fine career with stints at Barcelona, Manchester United and hometown team Helsingborgs.
Djibril Cisse – 30th October 2004 – Blackburn Rovers vs Liverpool
Djibril Cisse – 7TH June 2006 – France vs China
The voodoo doll has certainly been used well during the career of striker Djibril Cisse! The flying Frenchman signed for Liverpool in 2004 and after only 19 games for the Reds, suffered a broken left leg in a match at Blackburn Rovers. He returned successfully to play a part in the Anfield side’s 2005 Champions League win and 2006 FA Cup win, before spookily breaking his right leg for France during a warm-up match for the 2006 World Cup. The image of Cisse screaming in pain with his lower leg bent underneath him is definitely not for the faint-hearted!
Patrick Battiston – 8th July 1982 – West Germany vs France
Possibly the most infamous injury in football ever! Years before Conor McGregor became a major star of the Octagon, West Germany goalkeeper Harald Schumacher was pioneering mixed-martial arts in the 1982 World Cup semi final against France!
With the score locked at 1-1, France’s Patrick Battiston, just on the pitch 10 minutes before, was sent through on a breakaway play. Unbelievably, the German keeper came flying out of his box, with his knee at head height, colliding with the French forward in a sickening clash! The play, which bizarrely wasn’t even considered a foul, resulted in Battiston being knocked out as well as losing two teeth, cracking three ribs and damaging vertebrae!
Petr Cech – 14th October 2006 – Reading vs Chelsea
Goalkeepers can be on the receiving end of nasty injuries too, as the example of Petr Cech proves. The Czech Republic national was a big part of Chelsea’s first two Premier League title wins in 2005 and 2006 before an injury suffered in a match against Reading in the 2006/07 would have a lasting effect on his career – it is fair to say he hasn’t been as dominant in the penalty box since this incident.
As Cech dived to save the ball, Reading striker Stephen Hunt’s knee caught the keeper on the side of the skull, fracturing it in the process. Unaware of how serious the injury was, doctors reported that the legendary keeper was close to losing his life. Petr Cech now has to always wear a protective rugby-style headguard due to the impact injury he suffered on that fateful day in 2006.
Terry Butcher – 6th September 1989 – Sweden vs England
In days of yore, to be captain of England you had to be brave like a lion! Think of greats like Bobby Moore, Bryan Robson and Paul Ince – no Nivea commercials for them! But the ultimate lionheart in the Three Lions shirt has to be Terry Butcher! In 1989, England travelled to Sweden for an important World Cup qualifier and the bulldog spirit was clearly in Glasgow Rangers defender Butcher! Suffering a deep cut in a forehead wound early in the game, Butcher had stitches inserted by the physio and kept playing. Given his position, his continuous heading of the ball resulted in the stitches opening and disintegrating, leaving his white England shirt as red as a butcher’s apron come the end of the match!
There have been many more horrific injuries down the years, such as Aaron Ramsay for Arsenal or Alf-Inge Haaland for Manchester City. Are there any others you remember?
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