The 24 greatest freak football injuries, and what they’d be as band names

David James
David James nurses a scalded nipple (Img: Ben Sutherland)

In honour of Wolverhampton Wanderers goalkeeper Carl Ikeme breaking his hand punching a tactics board, Football Burp got thinking on other freak football injuries – and how they could be condensed into ‘band name’ form.

Wince at, laugh at or feel free to use as a band name any of the following, dear readers…

The Adam Chapman Nipple Burn

The Oxford United midfielder, currently on loan at Mansfield Town, burnt his nipple in October while preparing a bottle of milk for his baby. U’s boss Chris Wilder said:

Adam Chapman, like this good dad he is, was making his baby some milk and he managed to shake the bottle up and down, but he didn’t put the lid back on properly. He burnt his chest and had to go to hospital for a check up. He’s burnt all his nipple. It’s an unusual injury, but he’s managed to play the game.

Adam’s injury is not one I have ever known before. You get your thigh strains and hamstrings but not a burnt nipple.

The Liam Lawrence Dog Trip

In 2008, the Stoke City midfielder was ruled out of a trip to Portsmouth having injured his ankle tripping over his pet Labrador and falling down the stairs. He said:

It was in the middle of the night, the dog lies on the stairs and I didn’t see him. I trod on him, realised what I’d done, tried to go to the next step, gone over on my ankle and fallen down the stairs. I’ll miss the weekend, then it’s the international break. Hopefully I’ll be back after that.

The dog’s fine. I could have killed him at the time, but he’s intact. I’ve had a lot of stick, the lads have been ribbing me and I’ve heard a few things on the telly and on the radio. It’s just a bit of banter.

When it doesn’t happen on the pitch or on the training ground then it’s more disappointing and I’m sure the gaffer won’t be best pleased either.

The Rio Ferdinand Pro Evo Marathon

While at Leeds United, the England defender incurred a tendon strain in his knee from sitting for too long playing Pro Evolution Soccer while resting his feet on a coffee table.

The Darius Vassell Blister Drill

The former England striker was at Aston Villa when he took the always-wise decision to take on a blood blister beneath his big toe with a power drill to his foot. Believe it or not this relieved the blister, although this was somewhat tempered by the resultant nasty blood infection.

The Lomana LuaLua Somersault Fail

In 2006, the then Portsmouth forward injured his ankle while celebrating a goal against Arsenal with a trademark somersault. His manager, one Harry Redknapp, said:

He still did his triple somersault with pike without realising he’d hurt himself. He’s a one-off.

The David Batty Tricycle Mishap

The former Leeds United, Blackburn Rovers and England midfielder was resting up with an ankle ligament injury when his two-year-old daughter ran over his foot with her tricycle. It seems that compounded the issue.

The Alan Wright Ferrari Stretch

The 5 foot 4 former Aston Villa left-back strained his knee trying to reach the accelerator pedal of his new Ferrari.

The Bryan Robson Gazza Upheaval

The former Manchester United and England captain missed the 1990 World Cup after injuring himself trying to get a passed-out Paul Gascoigne out of bed. Apparently he lifted the bed and it landed on his foot.

The Darren Barnard Dog Piss Slip

The former Barnsley and Wales left-back’s puppy peed in the kitchen – he slipped while clearing it up and was promptly sidelined for five months with an ankle ligament injury.

David James and the Remote Control Strain

The former England goalkeeper strained a muscle in his back reaching for the TV remote.

Amendment: According to the man himself, this didn’t happen:

@footballburp incorrect!

— David James djf (@jamosfoundation) March 20, 2013

@footballburp I never injured myself reaching for a remote control, or any other battery operated device, as it happens

— David James djf (@jamosfoundation) March 20, 2013

So there you have it.

The Dave Beasant Salad Cream Control

While at Southampton, Beasant ruptured ankle ligaments attempting to ‘control’ a bottle of salad cream he’d accidentally knocked over. He was sidelined for two months.

The Steve Morrow Tony Adams Drop

Steve Morrow had just scored the Gunners’ winning goal in the 1993 League Cup final against Sheffield Wednesday when his captain Tony Adams picked him up in celebration, and promptly – presumably accidentally – dropped him. He broke his collarbone and missed out on collecting his winner’s medal.

Kevin Kyle and the Scalded Crotch

The Kilmarnock striker had to spend the night in hospital when his eight-month-old son kicked a jug of boiling water over his crotch. Couldn’t tell you where it was kicked from, but it sounds like a classic Ferguson/Beckham/boot scenario to us.

The Michael Stensgaard Ironing Board Disaster

The former Liverpool, Southampton and FC Copenhagen goalkeeper injured his shoulder trying to fold an ironing board, forcing him to retire. Well, we say ‘retire’ – check out what Wikipedia’s got to say:

After ending his footballing career, Stensgaard finished his cand.jur. education. He was the first in Scandinavia to specialize in business conflict mediation, and he was on the winning team in the 2004 International Negotiation Competition. He served as an International Negotiation Competition judge, and has lectured at the University of Copenhagen. He is also a FIFA-licensed football player agent, and acts as a mental coach for both athletes and businessmen.

The Lee Hodges Shower Slip

In his Barnet days, the versatile Hodges slipped on a bar of soap while showering and “wrenched his groin”. He is now manager of Truro City.

The Paulo Diogo Finger Severance (warning: not for the squeamish)

The then Servette midfielder celebrated Jean Beauséjour’s goal in a 4-1 win at Schaffhausen by jumping onto a metal perimeter fence to salute the travelling Grenats faithful. However, having only just got married, his wedding ring got caught in the barrier and partially stayed there when he jumped back down again. Not only was he then booked for celebrating excessively, but doctors were unable to reconstruct his finger and it had to be amputated. On the bright side, it didn’t end his career – he even went on to play for Schaffhausen!

The Charlie George Lawnmower Accident (ditto)

The former Arsenal and Derby County forward lost a finger in a lawnmower accident. Couldn’t tell you which finger, though.

The Alex Stepney Jaw Dislocation

The former Manchester United goalkeeper dislocated his jaw shouting at his defenders in a match against Birmingham City.

The Chic Brodie Dog Encounter

The then Brentford goalkeeper shattered his kneecap colliding with a dog that ran onto the pitch and ‘got’ the ball. It was to prove career-ending. Brodie rued:

The dog might have been a small one, but it just happened to be a solid one.

The Svein Grondalen Moose Collision

The Norway defender was forced out of a World Cup qualifier having collided with a moose while out jogging near his home.

The Santiago Canizares Aftershave Smash

In 2002, the Spain goalkeeper severed a tendon in his right foot after accidentally smashing a bottle of aftershave and cutting his foot on a shard of glass – or “a shard of glass penetrated his flesh” as the BBC reported it with such grizzly relish at the time.

Canizares said:

I do not consider myself to be unlucky by any means. From the start of my career I have had several strokes of good luck – but, just like everyone else, I have also had difficult times which I have had to cope with. Now I have to overcome this blow to my morale, and in my case that may take a week or just three days. No-one makes their way in the world of football without having to overcome obstacles.

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.

Alas, the deputising Iker Casillas grabbed his opportunity with both gloves.

The Richard Wright Falls Over Sign and Out of His Parents’ Loft

During his spell at Everton, the goalkeeper injured his shoulder falling out of his parents’ loft, and his ankle falling over a sign in his goal that bore instructions to use the training goal located on the side of the pitch. Here is the latter incident…

The Kirk Broadfoot Egg Explosion

While at Rangers, the now Blackpool defender tried to poach some eggs in the microwave – inspecting them afterwards, one exploded, squirting “scalding hot water” in his face. He was treated for burns at hospital, safe in the knowledge that his was now the face that launched a thousand ‘egg in face’ headlines.

…and tonight’s headliners, The Mart Poom Iron Maiden Knob Calamity

It appears that Poom did indeed get concussed and injure his genitals playing – get this – for Derby County in a 2000 friendly against an Iron Maiden XI in his native Estonia. Yes, that Iron Maiden. Don’t believe us? Google it.

Can you think of any other freak football injuries that we missed? Have your say in the comment section below…