Footballer tells of leg break trauma

AN amateur footballer today told how he feared he would die after he shattered a leg in a tackle and began to fit on the pitch.Ipswich Sunday league Lee Jacobs had been playing for CJU Football Club in the quarter final of the Sunday Shield against Bramford United on Bourne Park when he went in for a 50/50 challenge with an opponent.

AN amateur footballer today told how he feared he would die after he shattered a leg in a tackle and began to fit on the pitch.

Ipswich Sunday league Lee Jacobs had been playing for CJU Football Club in the quarter final of the Sunday Shield against Bramford United on Bourne Park when he went in for a 50/50 challenge with an opponent.

However, the strong tackle left him with a broken fibula and tibia and when paramedics arrived to give him a mixture of gas and oxygen to ease the pain, he began to fit.

As his body erratically shook, the shattered bones were forced against his skin, causing it to shred.

The 29-year-old sales assistant, of Cardiff Avenue, said: “When the paramedics arrived they whacked the gas and air straight on. It took a moment but then it hit me. It reacted with alcohol which was still in my system from the night before and I must have started fitting although I didn't know it at the time.

“I slipped into a dream where I thought I was dying. I really thought it was the end for me.

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“I was trying to escape – people were spinning and I was trying to reach out for them. It was very frightening.”

When he got to Ipswich Hospital, Lee was warned his leg might have to be amputated. He then underwent a marathon four-and-a-half hour session in surgery where doctors carried out a skin graft on his horrific wounds.

Two days later, Lee had a second operation, this time for two-and-a-half hours, before spending more than two weeks in hospital recuperating.

His injuries are so bad that he will never been able to play his beloved football again and will not be able to work for seven months.

He said: “The first few days in hospital were very painful. I was on a morphine machine and I didn't really know where I was. I can't remember much about it.

“Because of the skin graft and the open wound, the doctors couldn't plaster it, so they put a pin and rod right the way down my shin.

“The doctors told me straight away that I wouldn't be able to play football again, but before they put me to sleep in theatre they told me it might have to be amputated. When I heard that I couldn't believe it, I just didn't want to be here.

“I'll miss the football, but it could have been so much worse.”

He added: “I would like to thank the players, my family, girlfriend Rosenna and the hospital for their support after the accident. They have been brilliant.”

Fast Facts: horrific football injuries

Coventry City defender David Busst's career was ended after a shocking leg break in a match against Manchester United in April 1996. He suffered a compound fracture of the tibia and fibula in a collision with Denis Irwin.

On only his third appearance for Aston Villa, Belgian striker Luc Nilis broke his leg after colliding with then Ipswich goalkeeper Richard Wright in 2000. He never played again.

Manchester United midfielder Alan Smith is currently trying to save his career after breaking his leg last month in an FA Cup match against Liverpool. Smith is expected to be out for nine months.

Liverpool striker Djibril Cisse suffered a horrific leg break last season after an innocuous challenge with Ipswich's on-loan defender Jay McEveley.