The Weird and Wonderful World of Football Injuries


Injuries, you can’t avoid them in football, at some point you’ll suffer some sort of tear, sprain or break but the unlucky people you are about to read about suffered some sort of injury in bizarre fashion. From silverware falling on your head and power drills to tripping over your household pet, this article certainly features some of the strangest injuries the beautiful game has ever seen.

Liam Lawrence falls over his dog

We start with the ‘tripping over your household pet’ story. Portsmouth and Republic of Ireland winger Liam Lawrence, then of Stoke City, was on his way down the stairs in the early hours when suddenly he fell over his Labrador. He rang Tony Pulis to inform him he wouldn’t be attending training due to his bizarre injury which some managers probably wouldn’t believe!

Dog tackles goalkeeper Chic Brodie

Man’s best friend strikes again, this is an incident from over 40 years ago. During a game between Colchester United and Brentford in October 1970, a sheepdog found its way onto the pitch and ran nearly the full length of it towards the Brentford box, and collided with ‘keeper Chic Brodie in what could be described as a tackle or a charge. Brodie subsequently had to be taken off after being in severe pain.

Although you’ll probably find yourself laughing when you see the video, it proved to be a very serious as that injury brought the Scot’s career to an abrupt end, suffering a shattered kneecap. Brodie talked about the incident, saying that “The dog might have been a small one, but it just happened to be a solid one.”

To see it, skip to 1:10 on this video

Charles George and Darius Vassell – DIY Disasters

Sometimes doing it yourself just isn’t worth it, just ask Charles George and Darius Vassell!

Arsenal legend Charles George had just brought the curtain down on his career in 1983 and was now enjoying the retired life. One afternoon he decided he’d go out and cut the grass. It is unknown what sort of a job he done on the garden, but one thing that was certain was that he was a finger short when he finished after he presumably fell and his finger got caught under the lawnmower. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre was a success, but I think the London Lawnmower Kerfuffle would have a lot of potential, both would be based on true stories too.

Now Darius Vassell was a much different story, this involved a power till for medical purposes. Upon noticing a blister under his big toe, Darius took the only sensible course of action and got his power drill in an attempt to drain the blister. Vassell nearly drilled his own toe off, but it actually worked until he picked up a blood infection and had to have half of his nail removed.

Drilling to drain such blisters is actually a common procedure, but normally it is conducted by a qualified person under sterile conditions.

Boris Johnson’s rugby tackle

Bumbling London mayor Boris Johnson took part in a charity match between England and Germany in 2006 and will forever be remembered for that one tackle on Maurizio Gaudino.

When Gaudino recieved the ball, Boris seemed to think for a moment he was playing rugby and tackled the German midfielder like a prop forward! Needless to say, he was forced off with an injury. Now, if this was done to Sepp Blatter, I would probably call Boris a hero!

Dermot Brannigan – The side effects of success

Upon winning the 2010 FAI Ford Cup in dramatic fashion, Sligo Rovers fans and players alike were understandably over the moon having won the Cup for the first time in 16 years. Now Rovers have set a couple of records this season, but I think they may also hold the ‘fastest time to damage a Cup’ record when not 15 seconds after lifting it, the lid fell off and hit kitman Dermot Brannigan with an almighty whallop on the head.

Rather than check if he was okay, goalkeeper Richard Brush took the alternative option and sprayed a bottle of champagne in his face.

Mark Statham’s car door mishap

Some players have been injured while in their car, but this incident really took the biscuit when Mark Statham once missed a game for non-league side Stalybridge Celtic in 1999 when he got his head stuck in a car door.

I presume he missed the game due to a resulting injury rather than actually still having his head wedged in the car door at kick-off.

Ramalho swallows suppository

Brazilian striker Ramalho was once bed ridden for 3 days when he wasn’t sure what to do with his suppository.

He had been given it to treat a dental problem, but rather than apply it to his teeth, he swallowed it.

Leroy Lita’s Freak Injury

This one is my personal favourite.

Upon waking one morning, Leroy done what comes naturally to us all by stretching and yawning. Now I don’t know what weird way he was stretching, but somehow he managed to pull a muscle in his leg so badly that it ruled him out of action for a month.

Enforcing the Laws

In 1996, Grimby’s Ivano Bonnetti became embroiled in a heated row with manager Brian Laws in the dressing room. The Italian threw food at Laws, who in turn broke his own player’s cheekbone with a punch! Laws escaped punishment, but both were forced to make public apologies.

An unusual pitch invasion

Now, this one isn’t funny like the ones above, but is still a bizarre story, and besides all that where else are we going to tell you about it?

Indonesian star Mistar, 25, was tragically killed by a herd of pigs that invaded his teams training pitch before a Cup match in 1995.

To Hellmans and back

Yes, this story does involve salad cream.I know what you’re asking yourself – ‘What in gods name can go wrong with salad cream?’. Here’s what happened:

Dave Beasant saw his start to the 1992/93 season halted when he was ruled out for 2 months when he dropped a bottle of salad cream on his foot, causing damage to a tendon. Part of me likes to think that he used his goalkeeper instincts here, he fumbled the bottle and then stuck his foot out to keep it from hitting the floor.

Scalldin’ Balls

I don’t know if Kevin Kyle is a fan of John Wayne, but he ended up walking like him for a while after this one.

Kyle was boiling water to make some warm milk for his son to drink, but when 8-month-old Max decided to start squirming around in his dad’s grasp, he managed to break free and in the process knocked the boiling water on his dads ‘nether regions’.

He had to stay overnight in hospital and missed his team’s 2-2 draw with Everton.

Mario Balotelli suffers allergic reaction

Not an injury as such, but definitely a bizarre allergy if you’re a footballer.

While playing in way to Dinamo Kiev, Balotelli complained of feeling unwell during the game. He recieved treatment for minor swelling on his face, but he was eventually hauled off by medics in the 57th minute when they discovered he was actually having an allergic reaction.

It was later revealed he was allergic to the grass in Kiev’s stadium! Medics found that there is a certain type of grass that the Italian striker’s body reacts to.

Ferguson gives Beckham the boot

Another dressing room bust-up, but this time a bit more high profile as Alex Ferguson and David Beckham argued over the midfielder’s move to Real Madrid.

The angry Scot took such a fit of rage, that he hurled a boot at his star player, causing a cut above his left eye that required stitches. It is believed there were women queuing up outside his house to ‘kiss it better’.

Player loses finger

High... Four and a half?

In December 2004, FC Servette player Paulo Diogo set up a crucial 87th minute winner for Jean Beausejour against FC Schaufhassen. During the wild celebrations, Diogo climbed a fence behind the goal and, not knowing his wedding ring was caught on a part of the metal barrier, jumped down not realising part of his finger had been severed until he touched the ground.

The game was halted as Paulo was brought to the dressing room for immediate attention, but before leaving the pitch the referee  added insult to injury by booking him for his celebration.

The severed part of his finger was later found, but doctor’s couldn’t re-attach it and had to amputate the rest of it.

I hope you enjoyed this list, do you have any weird or bizarre injuries to tell us about? Please share them in the comments below!

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One Comment on “The Weird and Wonderful World of Football Injuries”

  1. […] Ramalho got the wrong end of the stick when he was prescribed a pill to treat a dental infection. He unknowingly swallowed a suppository, […]


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