When Jamie Matthews heard the crack, he thought his football shinpad must have snapped – then he saw his foot “flopping around”.
Playing for Wakefield’s second XI side in the third division against FC Nelson on Saturday, Jamie went to clear the ball up field with a powerful punt.
As the central defender launched the clearance, an opposition player attempted a shot at goal.
“The attacker went to do a big kick toward goal, he caught me, and my leg just snapped.”
The collision caused Jamie to break both bones in his shin.
“I heard the crack, I thought it might have been my shin pad at first, then came the pain, it was excruciating.”
Jamie says he grabbed his knee and as he was falling to the ground, could see his foot “flopping around”.
“I knew then it was broken.”
He lay on the grass at Wakefield Domain for half an hour, waiting for an ambulance to arrive.
In a cruel twist, Jamie’s father was refereeing the match and had to watch his son in agony.
“He wasn’t too bad, he was just impressed that I didn’t swear too much,” says Jamie.
In-between the anguish, Jamie says he worried about how his employer would respond.
“I just kept thinking, ‘my boss is gonna kill me’.”
The mechanic says he will have to take a couple of months off work, at least.
Jamie says he holds no ill will toward the man who caused his injury.
“It was just one of those things.”
Adding insult to injury, the match was restarted after a delay and Wakefield went on to lose 2-0.