Emotions high as Rivers begins recovery
PUBLISHED: 13:23 28 March 2002 | UPDATED: 11:38 03 March 2010
SOCCER: Promising Sunday footballer Lewis Rivers spent nearly five hours on the operating table after suffering an horrendous leg injury playing for Trimley Rangers against The Smock in the First Division of the Licensed Trades League.
PROMISING Sunday footballer Lewis Rivers spent nearly five hours on the operating table after suffering an horrendous leg injury playing for Trimley Rangers against The Smock in the First Division of the Licensed Trades League.
The 21-year-old is likely to be in plaster for several months after breaking the tibia and fibula in his right leg as well as damaging his ankle last Sunday.
A steel pin has been inserted in his leg from his knee down to his foot. The incident happened in the second minute of the game played at Gainsborough Sports Centre, Ipswich – and left a nasty taste in the mouth of bottom-of-the-table Trimley players and officials.
Steve Garrod, who has been connected with Rangers for 26 years and is manager and secretary, said: "There is a lot I would like to say, but I will wait for the referee's report.
"I have got my feelings and the incident has affected our players. We have one league game left, but are not in the frame of mind to play it.
"It looks like our season is over, but our main concern is for Lewis who was close to the whole side. We have been to see him in hospital and all wish him well."
Needham Market-based Rivers has played for Rangers for three years and had recently found his best position – as a central defender.
Another Rangers player, Ben Collins, said: "Lewis' emergence has been one of the few highlights in an otherwise disappointing season.
"To be honest it was not a very nice tackle and at one stage no pulse could be found in his foot and it went blue and purple.
"The offending player was only originally booked and as far as I could see showed no remorse. Nobody from the Smock inquired about Lewis' well-being during the game or since.
"All the Trimley players would like to pass on their best wishes to Lewis. He only started a new job last week and we want him to keep his chin up.
"The referee went to see Lewis in hospital on Monday and said he was going to upgrade the yellow card to a sending off."
Nobody from The Smock, who won the match 3-1 when it continued after Rivers had been taken to hospital, was available for comment.