Premier League soccer is considered the apex of footballing talent. Fans ranging from old veterans down to starry-eyed kids all have aspirations of playing on a Premier League pitch. The skillful plays and graceful athleticism of the Premier League athletes justify the moniker coined by Stuart Hall: “The Beautiful Game.” However, there have also been a fair amount of ugly plays as well. Though many critics of the sport like to point out the frequency of simulation (or faking an injury, in less sophisticated terms) as a mark against the game, there have certainly been a significant number of legitimate injuries. The following is a list of some of the worst injuries in the history of the Premier League.
Tottenham Hotspur Gary Mabbutt was locked in a heated challenge with Wimbledon’s John Fashanu in a match in 1993. Fashanu’s elbow smashed into the left eye of Mabbutt, which almost cost Gary his eye and his career. The results of the errant elbow were a damaged eye socket and three different breaks and four fractures in the cheekbone. In fact, a metal plate had to be inserted under the skin to stabilize the structure of his face.
The Many Broken Legs
In 2004, after only 19 games with Liverpool, Djibril Cisse suffered a terrible leg injury against Jay McEveley of the Blackburn Rovers. Cisse’s boot got stuck in the turf, while his calf bone was kicked (unintentionally) in the other direction by McEveley. It was obvious that the leg was broken as it slouched like it had no bone at all immediately after impact. On the bright side Cisse came back a little under a year later, much sooner than anyone expected.
In a 2008 match between Arsenal and Birmingham, Martin Taylor slid in for a tackle against Arsenal’s Eduardo da Silva. Under the impact Eduardo’s left fibula was broken and his ankle was dislocated. One particular photo taken just as boot struck the knee shows Eduardo’s bone tearing through his sock. Some reports even asserted that had the tackle been slightly harder it may have taken da Silva’s foot clean off.
In a twist of bad luck, roughly two years later tragedy struck Arsenal again in the person of Aaron Ramsey. After a tackle from Stoke City’s Ryan Shawcross, Ramsey was in tears as he rolled around on the grass. As a result of the tackle, Ramsey’s leg was actually dangling freely from his body. Like the incident with da Silva, many players avoided the scene for fear of vomiting.
Last is the injury considered by some sources to be the most horrific in the history of the Premier League. David Busst from Coventry had only been a professional for five years. He was becoming a regular player for the team, and was thus picked to play in the game against Manchester United in April 1996. Two minutes into the match, as the ball swung in from a header off a corner kick, opposing players Dennis Irwin and Brian McClair lunged at the ball to clear it. In the process of attempting a shot on goal, Busst’s leg suffered severe damage with both lower leg bones (tibia and fibula) sustaining extensive fractures.
The Manchester United goalkeeper, Peter Schmeichel, who was reputed to be one of the toughest players in the league, immediately covered his eyes in the aftermath. According to some reports, Schmeichel even threw up on the pitch and needed counseling. To add to the pain, players and fans then had to watch blood get cleaned off the pitch for twelve minutes as the game was stopped.
In addition to Premier League injuries, Roger Bolton covers sports history, sports news, sports attire and accessories, and so forth; for more info on sports clothing visit Lupo Sports.