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Coral’s top 10 freak footballer accidents after Smalling holiday injury

| 05.07.2016

Following England’s underwhelming exit from Euro 2016 at the hands of Iceland, Manchester United defender Chris Smalling proceeded on his summer holidays, but has recently picked up a bizarre injury scare while enjoying his time off.

The Old Trafford centre back was part of the side that were toppled by Iceland, who have since lost to 4/1 second-favourites with Coral for overall success France, and pictures have emerged of his misfortune in a surfing accident.

Smalling is believed to have hurt himself while surfing in Indonesia and picked up some painful jellyfish stings, before being rushed to hospital.

As a result of the bizarre injury, Coral writers have come up with 10 other unfortunate freak accidents to footballers.

Darren Barnard – Dog debacle

Whilst on Barnsley’s books, the former left-sided Chelsea player suffered a common footballers injury – a cruciate ligament tear – resulting in him being sidelined for six months. How he did it, you may ask? Well… slipping on his dog’s urine. Here is an animated video in case you needed to picture the incident more vividly…

Dave Beasant – Attacked by salad cream

Charlton Athletic v Reading - Sky Bet Championship - The Valley

Keepers these days tend to use their feet more than their hands to save shots, and it seems former Nottingham Forest, Chelsea, Wimbledon and England stopper Beasant was one of the first to test this with a falling jar of salad cream. It didn’t end well, though, as he severed a tendon in his foot while trying to stop its fall. Use your hands!

Chic Brodie – Small dog ends keeper’s career

Soccer - FA Cup - Third Round - Brentford v Middlesbrough

It is fair to say that, while a dog may be a man’s best friend, they are certainly a footballer’s worst enemy. The former Brentford goalie had to retire from football soon after clashing with a small dog whilst playing against Colchester United in 1970. On the incident, he said: “The dog might have been a small one, but it just happened to be a solid one.”

Santiago Canizares – A very close aftershave

Soccer - UEFA Champions League - Quarter Final - Second Leg - Valencia v Chelsea - Mestalla Stadium

Dogs and goalkeepers are synonymous with injuries to footballers caused off the pitch it seems. Former Valencia, Real Madrid and Spain icon Canizares hurt himself in similar vein to Beasant; this time, though, it was a bottle of aftershave that severed a ligament in his big toe. It resulted in him missing the 2002 World Cup.

Rio Ferdinand – Injured whilst stationary

Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Arsenal v Queens Park Rangers - Emirates Stadium

Ex-Manchester United and England legend Ferdinand has had his fair share of injuries throughout his career, but none quite as bizarre as doing so whilst playing video games. While in the stationary position, he didn’t realise that putting his feet up on a coffee table for so long caused him to strain knee ligaments.

Svein Grondalen – Moose collision

Luckily no one would have this issue in the UK, but former Norway and Rosenborg defender Grondalen, who was known for his physicality, was going on a run in a forest, minding his own business, before colliding with a moose. He certainly met his match, and missed a World Cup qualifier as a result.

Mart Poom – Iron Maiden clash, be quick or be downed

Soccer - Coca-Cola Football League Championship - Watford v Charlton Athletic - Vicarage Road Stadium

Former Derby County keeper hero Poom suffered the misfortune of injuring his genitals whilst clashing with an Iron Maiden (heavy metal band) member in an unofficial match. Thankfully, he knew nothing about it at the time, as he was also knocked out in the collision.

Bryan Robson – Bed calamity with Gazza

Ex-Man Utd and England skipper Robson missed out on the 1990 World Cup due to lifting Paul Gascoigne’s bed onto his foot, whilst trying to wake up the fellow former legend, who was apparently passed out. Here is another animation someone has provided of the incident…

Alex Stepney – Jaw-dropping injury

Peter Schmeichel was renowned for being very vocal on the pitch whilst a player. However, he cannot claim to have dislocated his jaw whilst doing so, as another ex-Man Utd keeper, Stepney, once did whilst shouting orders at his own players. Here are some more angry goalies…

Darius Vassell – Stick to your day job

Soccer - npower Football League Championship - Nottingham Forest v Leicester City - City Ground

Footballers are not really known for their intelligence, and then-Aston Villa attacker Vassell confirmed this by once trying to pop a blood blister with a power drill, yes a power drill. Unsurprisingly, the unorthodox self-treatment did not work, and it only caused an infection.


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Sam Barnard

Sam has been writing for Coral since January 2014, and is the assistant editor of the news site. As well as the main betting sports, football, tennis and cricket, he covers the likes of golf, F1 and darts too, the latter of which has become a particular favourite. Sam enjoys playing as much as writing about sports, but niggling injuries have limited his participation in recent years, so is happy to mainly watch the pros such as Manchester United, Yorkshire CCC, Raymond van Barneveld and even Gibraltar national football team instead.