A NON-LEAGUE footballer from Northumberland was rushed to hospital on the day he was due to become a father after a tackle which broke his leg.
Stephen Young, a 30-year-old prolific striker at Ashington Football Club, broke his leg and dislocated his ankle in a game on Saturday, the day his girlfriend was due to give birth to their second child.
Stephen, who lives at Bedlington Station, is to undergo surgery on his injuries which may yet prove to be career-ending.
His injury marked the third home game in a row in which ambulances had been called to Ashington matches, to deal with serious accidents.
The injury happened in the club’s Northern League Division One match against Jarrow Roofing at Woodhorn Lane, which Ashington won 5-1.
Young, a former Morpeth player who has been with Ashington – known as The Colliers – two seasons, was through on goal when he was tackled from behind by a Jarrow player.
The player involved was given a yellow card and a penalty was given.
Ashington chairman and Labour MP for Wansbeck MP Ian Lavery said last night: “I was in line with the incident and I thought it was a bad tackle, the lad should have had a red card. It was certainly a horrible incident. Stephen was in a lot of pain.
“It happens in football and I am not looking to blame any of the lads from Jarrow Roofing or the lad involved. I accept it was not malicious. We knew it was a bad injury immediately.”
Colliers officials phoned 999 from the clubhouse, while spectators gave assistance – one holding Stephen’s leg in place – and an ambulance was sent, followed by a second.
Stephen was given oxygen and taken to the town’s Wansbeck General Hospital. The game resumed after a 10-15 minute hold-up. Stephen, a civil servant, was due to have an operation yesterday but the swelling had not gone down sufficiently.
His ankle was, however, put back in its socket and he remained in hospital last night.