Teenager tells of stab scars

STABBED teenager Ben Goddard today spoke for the first time about his horrific injury, and battle back to fitness.The Norwich City academy player suffered a wound to his stomach during an incident at Stradbroke High School on May 9.

STABBED teenager Ben Goddard today spoke for the first time about his horrific injury, and battle back to fitness.

The Norwich City academy player suffered a wound to his stomach during an incident at Stradbroke High School on May 9.

For the next two days, his condition was described as 'serious' and his family feared he might not pull through.

Two operations later and after losing two-and-a-quarter-stones in weight, the 15-year-old's life is slowly getting back to normal.


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Despite this, the spectre of the stabbing still hangs over him today.

In hospital, a particularly vivid nightmare resulted in him waking up with a jump and holding his stomach, although Ben himself does not recall this.

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Dad Terry, 44, said the true effect of his injuries and experience may not be known for some time.

He said: "He was larger than life beforehand and he seems fine within himself, but you never can tell.

"You don't know what psychological problems he might have in the future."

The circumstances surrounding the episode remain cloudy for Ben, but he said he did not feel any pain following the stabbing.

"It didn't hurt at all, he said. "I was in shock and I couldn't feel a thing. It only started hurting when I was in hospital.

"I can remember just laying there on the floor after it happened. I remember the ambulance arriving and then we went off. The next thing I remember is being in hospital."

It was between personal social education and maths lessons that the disturbance unfolded, when Ben was in the school toilets.

Just moments earlier, he had been on the telephone to his dad.

Terry said: "Ten minutes after I put the phone down, the school rang me and said Ben had been stabbed.

"I was then on my way to school and they rang again and said Ben was being taken to hospital. So I went to the hospital and ended up getting there before Ben.

"I was extremely angry. I was wondering how it had happened and I didn't realise how serious it was until I saw him being wheeled into the hospital."

Ben, who lives with his grandmother, Sylvia, 71, and uncle, Andrew, 42, at Mill Road, Redlingfield, underwent lifesaving surgery on his wound at Ipswich Hospital.

Throughout Ben's time in hospital, his family, which includes mum Eileen Hollis, 42, brother Lee, 21 and sister Kelly, 19, kept a constant vigil at his bedside.

Terry said: "I'm a realist and I knew it was serious but, typical Ben, he pulled through.

"I think it was my anger that kept me going through this. But as long as Ben is getting better, that's all that counts. What they do in the courts, I don't really care about."

Buoyed up by hundreds of get-well messages, including one from Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, Ben is now well on the road to recovery.

Like most teenagers, he is enjoying the summer sun with his friends and is able to take part in some physical activity.

He said: "I've been going to places like Great Yarmouth and Ipswich with my mates and I've been out on my bike.

"It was weird being in hospital because I'm so used to getting up and about so it's nice to be able to go out and do things again."

Surgeons have warned the once promising striker it will be at least a year before he is able to play football again, at any level.

Norwich City have promised to keep an eye on his progress, but Ben still dreams of playing for his idols, Manchester United.

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A 15-year-old boy has pleaded not guilty, to wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm in relation to the incident, and will stand trial at Ipswich Crown Court.

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