The Football League Paper - - BIG INTERVIEW -

A MATE of mine told me a quite in­cred­i­ble story of ‘mishap’ this week. He’d been to watch the grey­hound rac­ing at Wim­ble­don.

Af­ter one of the races, the hare catcher went across to drop the ‘hatch’ on top of the hare to keep it from the dogs at the end of the race. But un­for­tu­nately, the hare failed to stop at its check­point. In­stead, it crashed into the catcher and broke his leg.

Last weekend, in our FA Cup game against Ever­ton, Brian Oviedo suf­fered a bro­ken leg in chal­leng­ing our player for the ball in a com­plete ac­ci­dent.

Sport brings with it life-chang­ing mo­ments for peo­ple that come as a mas­sive shock, as bolts out of the blue. With no prepa­ra­tion, peo­ple are left with ma­jor is­sues to face.

I know from per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ence how tough it is to face; I broke my leg in two places and dis­lo­cated my an­kle while run­ning with the ball and hav­ing my legs cut away from me.

Thank­fully, most foot­ball clubs have strong sup­port struc­tures for deal­ing with both the phys­i­cal and men­tal sides of the re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion process.

It is im­por­tant to deal with the whole equa­tion. I heard Dr Phil Ho­p­ley of LPP Con­sult­ing, talk about a fail­ure to ad­dress the men­tal side and the pos­si­ble deficits that oc­cur phys­i­o­log­i­cally from a re­ten­tion of fear in the men­tal side of the re­cov­ery. It makes sense to me that those with­out a strong enough mind­set could in­deed suf­fer, hav­ing been through the process my­self. You have to dig very deep.

My thoughts go out to Brian and to the hare catcher. We should all take time to re­mem­ber the sport­ing in­jured. They are all a part of the sport we get so much en­joy­ment from.

But they can too eas­ily be for­got­ten when they prob­a­bly need us all the more.

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