16 of the strangest injuries in football: Runaway cow, salad cream & tricycles

Quick Reads

Former Chelsea, Manchester United and Leeds United favourites have suffered some of the most ridiculous injuries in the history of football.

From shaven legs to salad cream, footballers have experienced some utterly bizarre injuries over the years.

We’ve rounded up the pick of the bunch…

Carlos Tevez

Back at boyhood club Boca Juniors, Tevez impressed fans with three goals in five games following a disappointing spell in the Chinese Super League.

However, he angered bosses at the club when he returned from visiting his half-brother in prison with a tear in his soleus muscle, which will keep him out for up to six weeks.

The striker was having a kickabout with inmates during visiting hours in a maximum security facility in Cordoba, where his half-brother is serving 16 years for armed robbery.

Sam Henderson

Not heard the name? Well, now you won’t forget it. Henderson has left his club Queen of the South in a goalkeeper crisis as he was hit by a runaway cow.

Yes you read that right.

He just needs old Liz to warn him next time.

Santiago Canizares

Continuing the theme of goalkeepers dropping stuff, then-Spain No.1 Canizares missed with 2002 World Cup after letting slip from his grasp a bottle of aftershave, which severed a tendon when smashing upon impact with his right foot.

“I do not consider myself to be unlucky by any means,” a fresh-smelling Canizares said after withdrawing from the squad. “I still believe that the best moments of my career are yet to come and, health permitting, I will be aiming to be successful in the next World Cup.”

Iker Casilas had other ideas…

Dave Beasant

The Wimbledon FA Cup hero had already fought his way back into the side at Chelsea after being told he would never again play for the club following a series of screw-ups in the 1992-93 season. But it was a jar of salad cream that eventually ended his career at Stamford Bridge.

During pre-season in 1993, when Glenn Hoddle had just taken over at Chelsea, Beasant dropped the salad cream on his foot, severing tendons in his big toe. The damage sounds out of proportion until you consider that it was a 2kg jar. Big Dave obviously buys in bulk.

He never pulled on the gloves for the Blues again, moving to Southampton after Hoddle opted for Dimitri Kharine and Kevin Hitchcock as his first-choice keepers.

QUIZ: Can you name every goalkeeper to play for Chelsea in the Premier League?

Michael Stensgaard

The Danish stopper joined his boyhood club Liverpool in 1994 to compete for the starting spot with David James, but he failed to make a single appearance. Sadly, an altercation with an ironing board leading to the end of his Liverpool dream.

Folklore suggests Stensgaard was injured when he was clattered by the offending item when it fell out of a cupboard.

But the keeper told a different story to The Inside Left: “I actually dislocated my shoulder in training originally and we were trying to rebuild the muscles.

“Then I was just moving my ironing board at home because it was in the way and my shoulder just popped out when I lifted it! So it was obviously too weak.

“It was going to happen anyway, whether I had moved a box or if I was back in training. It was just a matter of time before it popped out – if it could do that when I was just moving something then it was clearly not strong enough.”

Marco Asensio

Real Madrid’s Asensio famously missed their opening Champions League game this season with an infected pimple after shaving his legs.

Kind of makes you re-evaluate everything when you remember Bert Trautman played (and won) in the FA Cup final with a broken neck.

READ: 10 players who played on through injury: Bony, Fabregas, Ronaldo & more

Alex Stepney

Peter Schmeichel is widely regarded as the mouthiest goalkeeper ever to play for Manchester United, but the Great Dane never screamed so hard that he dislocated his jaw.

That was the fate suffered by Alex Stepney in 1975 during a match against Birmingham at Old Trafford. The Blues were intent on kicking their opponents off the park, according to then-manager Tommy Docherty, and Stepney didn’t escape the rough treatment, with the long-serving stopper getting a whack in the face during the 2-0 win.

it wasn’t until he was barking at his defence later on that his jaw gave in. He was taken to hospital, with Brian Greenhoff taking the gardening gloves for the rest of the game.

Richard Wright

Three years after injuring himself while falling out of his loft as he put away his suitcases, perma-sub Wright ruled himself out of Everton’s FA Cup replay with Chelsea after tangling with a groundsman’s sign during the warm-up.

Ignoring the advice to ‘Keep Out Of The Goalmouth’, Wright prepared by fielding some crosses. One wrong step, though, saw Wright come a cropper when his ankle buckled upon landing on the sign. Given his misfortune with injuries, perhaps it was for the best that he spent most of his career watching for splinters on the bench.

Svein Grondalen

The former Norway defender amassed 77 caps between 1973 and 1984 but Grondalen, who liked a tackle, apparently, was forced to sit out a World Cup qualifier after coming off second best in a challenge. With a moose.

Grondalen was running in the woods when he is said to have tripped over the sleeping animal. As you might expect, the moose didn’t take kindly to being woken from its slumber in such a manner.

It charged at Grondalen, who ran and took cover over the edge of a steep hill, down which he rolled to safety. The escape came at a cost, however, with a badly cut left leg keeping him out of the clash with Finland.

Ever Banega

Banega’s story of being run over by his own car doesn’t quite live up to Brian Harvey’s. The former East 17 singer almost died when he went under his own Merc after falling out while being sick following the consumption of three giant jacket potatoes with tuna mayo and cheese.

In comparison, a fractured tibia and fibia doesn’t seem so bad, but the then-Valencia midfielder sat out six months after failing to put on the handbrake when filling up at a petrol station, with his car rolling back and trapping his leg against the curb.

David Batty

The Leeds midfielder feared no one – certainly not Sampdoria or Roberto Mancini – but the tough-tackling Yorkshireman came off second best in a clash with his three-year-old daughter.

Batty was recovering from an ankle ligament injury in 1999 during his second spell with his hometown club so perhaps his movement was restricted when Batty Jnr came hurtling towards him on her trike. The resulting collision left dad out of action for a further few weeks with a damaged Achilles tendon.

READ: A forensic analysis of David Batty bullying Sampdoria just for fun

Darius Vassell

Most of the injuries in this list were the result of misfortune. Not this one. Vassell’s remedy in 2002 for a blood blister under his big toenail came straight out of Dr Nick’s medical textook.

Rather than consult the numerous, fully-qualified staff on Villa’s payroll, Vassell decided to power up his Black and Decker and drill through his nail to drain the blister. The most shocking thing was that the treatment caused no more damage than a blood infection and the removal of his nail. He missed only three matches.

Paulo Diogo

You might think that Diogo would deserve some sympathy after severing part of his finger in 2004. The Servette midfielder clambered up on a metal perimeter fence while celebrating his team’s third goal in a 4-1 win at Schaffhausen, but before jumping back down, he failed to notice that his wedding ring had become caught on the barrier.

The newly-wed lost most of his finger, but while stewards undertook a frantic search for the missing digit, the referee ignored Diogo’s obvious pain and distress to issue a yellow card. Surgeons could not save the 29-year-old’s finger and advised that what remained should be amputated too.

Bryan Robson

No list of injuries would be complete with Captain Marvel’s name. The former England skipper was forced to miss most of Italia ’90 with an Achilles problem, but a toe complaint didn’t help either.

That reportedly came about while trying to tip Paul Gascoigne out of bed. Presumably in retaliation for one of Gazza’s pranks, Robbo lifted his bed and removed his team-mate from it, but the Manchester United legend then dropped the steel frame square on his big toe.

“My favourite player of all time” – Gazza on Bryan Robson. Happy 60th, Captain Marvel.

A post shared by Planet Football (@_planetfootball_) on

Milan Rapaic

The former Croatia attacker was waiting for a flight in July 1995 when he poked himself in his eye with his own boarding card. Inexplicable, you might think, until you realise Rapaic sat out a gruelling pre-season trip.

He’s obviously not as a daft as he looked that day in the departure lounge…

Darren Barnard

Man’s best friend left Stoke City’s Liam Lawrence in a crumpled mess after the winger tripped over his mutt on the stairs in 2008. But former Barnsley midfielder suffered a worse fate in 1999.

Barnard was in the midst of house training his new puppy and it obviously wasn’t going too well. The former Chelsea utility man failed to notice a steaming yellow puddle in his kitchen and slipped in it, tearing knee ligaments in the process.

The injury kept him on the sidelines for five months.

More from Planet Football

11 players we can’t believe were nominated for the Ballon d’Or

Where are they now? The 22 shirt sponsors from the first PL season

STIs, cowboy boots and more ridiculous reasons transfers have fallen through

Eight great goals from unexpected players: O’Shea, Daniels, Traore, Edman

Promoted Stories