If you’re a fan of the beautiful game, you’ll know how dramatic a fall can be. Players writhe around in agony on the pitch, and you can’t even see who touched them in the replay. Despite catching the ire of fans and non-fans around the world, soccer can be a dangerous game. We underestimate how fast the players run and how hard they can kick with their studded boots. Professional players kick the ball at an average speed of 112 km/h (70 mph)!
The speed and intensity at which the game is played means bad accidents can happen despite the protective gear worn by athletes. Let’s look back at some of the worst soccer accidents in the history of the game.
Tottenham Hotspurs has a chequered history to say the least, and while it’s been a long time since they’ve won, their lineup is looking better and better by the season. Back in 1993 however, the ‘Spurs were in a pickle. Their manager had just been sacked, and despite beloved coach and manager Ossie Ardiles wanting to make a glorious comeback, they finished at a shameful 15th position.
However, one man felt more pain than any of the other players that season. Garry Mabut got kicked in the head so hard, he fractured his skull and almost lost an eye. Probably one of the grizzliest incidents in the last 30 Years, the images of Mabut’s face are a reminder that footie can be a dangerous game.
Czech player Peter Chech was 19 when he received the injury that would see him wearing a rugby helmet at every game onward. At the time he was on loan to Reading which had recently been promoted to the Premier League. As a young goalie in a dream position, Chech hoped to prove himself as an aggressive defender of his team’s honour.
On the 14th of October 2006, during the first minute of a Premier League fixture, Cech’s head collided with another player’s boot. While he survived the injury and went on to have a very successful career, x-ray scans show he still has indents from the boot in his skull. Scary stuff.
One of the scariest incidents in football history occurred on the pitch in 1996, during the Coventry City Vs Man United game. His injury was sustained as the result of a three-player pile-up following a successful corner. Corners are often the sites of accidents as there’s a group of players in the tightest spot in the field, all jostling for control of the ball. It’s easy to see why other ball games, like 90 Ball live bingo are safer!
Busst collided with Brian McClair and Denis Irwin, two opposition players for Manchester United. While the other players escaped unscathed, Busst’s injury was so grave he had to retire shortly thereafter. His leg was so badly injured that amputation was considered an option at one stage.
While these accidents become rarer and rarer, it’s important to remember that accidents can happen at any time, and that even a friendly game can be a source of danger if people aren’t paying attention.