FOOTBALL: Dougill back home after ‘terrible’ injury
Dan Dougill is starting the road to recovery following initial fears that his football career could be over at the age of 19.
The highly-rated Holbeach United midfielder had surgery on Sunday to have plates and pins fitted following fractures to his tibia and fibula.
Dougill was discharged from hospital and he returned home on Tuesday – but he is expected to play again.
The injury forced Holbeach’s home game with Cogenhoe United on Saturday to be abandoned during the second half.
The decision was made almost immediately after the arrival of an ambulance at Carter’s Park. Dougill had been seriously hurt around 15 minutes earlier in a late challenge.
At the time, Holbeach were 2-0 down and heading for their first home defeat of the season.
We are a very close changing room, when you see one of your boys go through that today it’s very hard to control your emotions. The boys were superb in their support of @dan_doog7 get well soon Dan.
But the ChromaSport & Trophies United Counties League Premier Division match must be rearranged.
Tigers boss Seb Hayes said: “I thought everyone dealt with it very well.
“From where I was standing over the other side of the pitch, it looked like a 50-50 challenge.
“Unfortunately, their lad caught Dan slightly late but they both went into it 100 per cent.
“It happened near the players’ tunnel but we could hear the crack from the dug-outs.
“I spoke to the assistant referee who thought the shinpad had snapped. But the contact was just below it.
“We had to get the players off the pitch quickly because the injury was so visibly bad.
“I went on straight away to calm down Dan because he was panicking.
“He’s only just turned 19 years old and the reaction was that he feared never playing again.
“So we had to get him thinking straight and I broke the bad news to him. We had to tell him the truth.
“I was shaking and there was no way I wanted to manage the rest of the game. It was just terrible.
“The referee came into our changing room and wanted to give it around half an hour before making a decision.
“We were told that the ambulance might take an hour but it actually arrived pretty quickly and the medical staff were brilliant.
“I don’t care if we had lost the game.
“At the time, Cogenhoe were understanding about why the game was called off.
“The referee felt he could have waited longer and he was wondering whether he made a hasty decision.
“But we feel it was the right decision due to the seriousness of the injury.
“We had started the game really well and we could have been 3-0 up inside 25 minutes.
“Cogenhoe had three chances and scored twice.
“Fair play to them for coming back into it and they deserved the lead.
“Everyone could see the leg was broken and Dan was in so much pain so the game had to be abandoned.”