Published on November 6, 2012 | by Miles Crallan


Blood, sweat, tears and testicles

Annoyingly, it’s a phrase we have all heard at least once. ‘Have you had an accident at work that wasn’t your fault?’

If you are a professional sportsman, the answer to that question is most likely to be yes.

Pulled hamstring. Check. Broken metatarsal. Check. Thigh strain. Check. Certain injuries are part and parcel of sport.

A ruptured testicle however, isn’t. That’s exactly what happened to Warrington Wolves prop forward Paul Wood when his team faced Leeds in the Super League Final at Old Trafford.

Having taken a knee to his lower regions, the 31-year-old remarkably played on with a ruptured testicle for the duration of the match, before later having it surgically removed in hospital.

Footballers are often mocked for nursing injuries that quite frankly never existed, but that wasn’t the case for Arsenal’s Francesc Fabregas when his side trailed Barcelona 2-1 in the Champions League quarter final first leg in March 2010.

Unknown to himself and the 60,000 spectators, he had broken his leg following a foul by Carles Puyol, to take an 85th minute penalty.

The ball ended up in the back of the net, with Fabregas playing the remainder of the match despite his injury, indicating his devotion to Arsenal Football Club. Ironically, it was to be Fabregas’s last appearance for Arsenal after sealing a dream move to Barcelona 137 days later.

In modern day football, a tug of the shirt is enough for a player to clutch an invisible injury while waving an imaginary card at the referee.

Rewind more than 50 years to the 1956 FA Cup Final and Manchester City’s goalkeeping hero Bert Trautmann continued playing the remaining 15 minutes at Wembley Stadium, despite sustaining a life-threatening injury.

Three days after colliding with Birmingham City’s Peter Murphy, and securing an FA Cup winner’s medal in the process. An X-ray later revealed Trautmann had broken his neck during the collision.

Within sport, success can be defined in a matter of seconds, while dreams can be shattered in the same time. This was the case for Great Britain’s 400m runner Derek Redmond during the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona.

Just 14 seconds into the race, Redmond’s hamstring snapped, instantly putting a stop to any chances he had of qualifying for the Games final. It’s what happened next that signalled the true spirit of the Olympics.

Redmond’s father, Jim, entered the track and gave his son a helping hand across the line, despite his son suffering excruciating pain. A moment that is etched in the memory of all sports fans.

Throughout sports history, a number of players have seen their career cut short due to injury, whether it’s from a recurring injury or a leg break thanks to a crunch tackle from Roy Keane.

In 2008, Tiger Woods claimed his third US Open win, despite playing with a torn anterior cruciate ligament injury and two stress fractures in his tibia, an injury which can threaten any sportsman’s career.

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