Goalkeeper plays with ‘broken neck’


Published: Thursday 27th November 2014 by The News Editor

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A goalkeeper played on after suffering a suspected broken neck in a collision with a team-mate.

Laura Wareham suffered the injury after only 15 minutes of Newcastle United Women’s FA Women’s Premier League North match against Bradford City on Sunday after she and defender Kate Brooks combined to stop a Bradford forward scoring.

Wareham, 21, played on for five or six minutes of the eventual 3-2 defeat before being substituted – only because pain in her ribs had left her unable to kick the ball, she said.

She then collapsed twice, once after coming off and once in the dressing room at the end of the game at Northumbria University.

Incredibly, the sports science student has broken her neck playing in goal before, in 2011, returning to the side only after a year on the sideline.

After she revealed her previous injury to the team physio she was rushed to hospital by ambulance.

An initial X-ray showed she had broken her neck between the first and second vertebrae at the base of the skull, but a subsequent CAT scan revealed no breaks.

She has now returned home to Jarrow and will see a neurologist next week to determine how bad the injury is.

“If it is just ligament damage I should be back in the new year,” Miss Wareham said today.

“I played on and saved a shot and then got a sharp pain through my ribs and back and went off. I had no pain in my neck.”

The injury is in a different place to the break she suffered three years ago and the Newcastle College student is keen to get back playing, tweeting yesterday: “I’m coming home my X-rays have been sent to the neurologists, I have a hard collar on&go back Tuesday! Can I train tonight @NUWFCOfficial?”

The keen sportswoman also coaches an under-12s team in Boldon, between Newcastle and Sunderland, and the youngsters were mascots during the game when she was injured.

Wareham is not the first goalkeeper to suffer a serious neck injury and play on.

The late Manchester City goalkeeper Bert Trautmann is best remembered for playing on after breaking his neck in the 1956 FA Cup final win over Birmingham.

A Newcastle United Women’s FC spokesman said: “It was hard to see Laura go down with a second neck injury in just a few years, but we know what a strong person and strong character Laura is, she’ll be back.”

Published: Thursday 27th November 2014 by The News Editor

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