Warning: Readers of a nervous disposition might want to skip this one. I’m not kidding.
I played in an 11-a-side football match this evening after work. It was organised as our office versus another one of the offices and I’d been looking forward to it for ages. I hadn’t played 11-a-side in years and was relishing the challenge of it all!
Unfortunately I won’t be forgetting it for quite a different reason.
The first half went well, we were 1-0 up, it was a good natured game (i.e. the other guys weren’t trying to kill us) and while I didn’t get a lot of the ball on the left wing, the one time I did get a chance I made a decent run beating their last man, putting a decent cross in that was only just missed by one of our strikers.
Sadly, 56 seconds into the second half our right-back went down under a heavy (although fair, if a little late) challenge from one of their forwards. I knew as soon as he went down that he’d broken his leg because there was an unmistakable cracking sound that echoed around the whole park (I was on the other side of the pitch and it was as clear as a bell). It was like hitting a telegraph pole with a wooden baseball bat – surprisingly loud and something I’ll not forget. So we ran over and he was writhing in agony on the ground – really suffering. Poor guy.
Someone rang an ambulance and it turned up a not-exactly-quick 38 minutes later. Oh, obviously that was the end of the game. The guy who made the challenge was gutted, especially because he wasn’t trying to hurt him, it was a fair tackle, just incredibly unlucky.
I felt so bad for our guy though, he’s got months of rehab and pain ahead of him and it was a bad break as far as leg breaks go – horrible. But it’s persuaded me of one thing, my 11-a-side days are over. I’ll carry on with 5 and 8-a-side but the added dangers of slide-tackles you get with 11-a-side just isn’t worth it. I’m too old for all that thanks and I’ve had enough injuries from playing over the last few years to remind me that I’m not getting any younger.
So don’t expect a new long-haired Scottish winger joining Chelsea in the off-season. I’m not for sale at any price! 😉