Tasty tackles may be commonplace among the ranks of the amateur game but one Welsh footballer bearing a grudge took things to a whole other level with a challenge that has also landed him with a jail sentence.
Cefn Albion’s Nicholas Williams will spend up to 12 months in prison after launching a revenge attack on AFC Brynford’s Andrew Barlow that left his opponent with as horrific an injury as you are likely to see in a football match.
“All I remember was looking up and seeing my leg flopping and going into the ground”
The incident occurred in a Welsh National League Division One cup clash between the teams last October when, after complaining over what was viewed as a 50-50 challenge between Williams and Barlow, the former decided to take matters into his own hands.
What followed was a tackle which, when described by Barlow in court, sounds truly horrifying.
“I tried to jump out of the way. I couldn’t get high enough out of the challenge. He’s caught me with his studs in the middle of my shin,” he recalled in quotes carried by Fox Sports.
“All I remember was looking up and seeing my leg flopping and going into the ground.”
Williams tried to argue that the tackle was a “freak accident” though match referee on the day, Mark Stokes, described it as “the worst one I have seen” in court.
Still unable to return to work, Barlow was also forced to have rods inserted in his legs and is still suffering from the mental trauma of seeing that his toes “were touching his knee” in the immediate aftermath of the incident.
Charged with grievous bodily harm, the jury unanimously concluded the tackle was deliberate with Williams sent down for 12 months.
“the worst one I have seen”
Barlow, meanwhile, is unlikely to play football again, having suffered the kind of injury that recently derailed the career of former Premier League favourite Demba Ba.
Brought to the lucrative Chinese Super League by Shanghai Shenhua last year, Ba suffered a serious leg break following a collision with Shanghai SIPG’s Sun Xiang.
Though it was initially feared that the Senegalese star’s career would be over, French doctor Olivier Binger, who operated on Ba’s leg, has since confirmed he could be ready to play again in a few months’ time.
Loaded staff writer Jack Beresford has produced content for Lad Bible, Axonn Media and a variety of online sports and news media outlets.