Ouch! 10 of the strangest injuries in Premier League history

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There’s nothing unusual in most football injuries. A bad tackle, an outstretched leg or a clumsy twist are the main reasons why the Premier League’s elite are in and out of the physio room.

But some Prem players past and present have managed to injure themselves in some rather improbable ways over the years – on and off the field.

We take a look at some of the wackiest examples, kicking off with a jellyfish mishap on Wearside…

Julio Arca

There was a sting in the tail during training for the unlucky Argentine, who was plying his trade with Sunderland in 2004.

Capping off a seaside training session with a brisk dip in the North Sea, Arca ended up falling foul of a jellyfish – which duly stung the midfielder on the chest.

After a visit to hospital, Arca was duly discharged in time to face Wigan Athletic two days later. But the unfortunate midfielder picked up another injury against the Latics and was prompty subbed off!

Alan Wright

One of the smallest players of the Premier League era, 5ft 4in defender Wright spent eight years as a reliable presence in the Aston Villa backline.

His size didn’t stop the Villans ace from a good career, but it did affect his drive to training.

The full-back picked up a niggling knee strain, caused by stretching to reach the accelerator in his flash new Ferrari.

He swiftly traded it in for a Rover 416, telling media “It gave me grief”. A sensible decision.

Darren Barnard

Versatile Barnsley man Barnard suffered some puppy-themed pain during his time at Oakwell, with a rather embarrassing injury.

Having awoken in the night, the unlucky Barnard slipped in a puddle of his dog’s wee and damaged ligaments in his knee. The result? A five month lay-off. Ouch!

Liam Lawrence

Barnard isn’t the only one to fall foul of man’s best friend. A similar stroke of bad luck saw Lawrence sidelined in 2008.

The Stoke City man tripped over his pet dog – Max – on the stairs of his home, and was sidelined for a whopping 14 matches following the canine calamity.

We can only imagine what Tony Pulis made of it all…

Phil Babb

While most of the odder injuries to Prem players have come off the field, Babb’s was came in the heat of battle and was captured live by the Sky Sports cameras.

The scene is Liverpool v Chelsea, October 1998. Blues forward Pierluigi Casiraghi is bearing down on an open goal, with Babb racing back.

The Italian neatly slotted the ball home for his first and only Chelsea goal, but it’s Babb’s contribution which remains more famous.

Sliding in on goal in an attempt to stop a Chelsea opener, the unfortunate defender slammed into the post with his *ahem* gentleman’s area taking the full hit. Cue mass wincing in homes across the land.

Rio Ferdinand

Despite being one of the best centre-backs in Prem history, Ferdinand had bad luck with injuries playing football – on and off the field!

During his Leeds United days, the defender managed to strain a tendon in his knee having been resting his leg on the coffee table for too long.

The reason? A mammoth Pro Evo session, of course.

We’ve all been there!

Dave Beasant

The Chelsea and England goalkeeper was the cream of the crop back in 1993. But it was a bottle of salad cream which saw the stopper sidelined for a full two months.

After dropping the offending bottle on his foot, Beasant ended up with a severed tendon. The Blues began the 1993-94 season without him, winning just one of their first six games.

Richard Wright

Back in 2006, the Everton keeper injured himself in the most ironic way possible during the pre-match warm-up.

The Toffees goalie ignored a sign warning players to keep off the grass, fell over it catching a shot and duly twisted his ankle.

Nigel Martyn stepped in as his replacement, but conceded four times in a 4-1 mauling at Stamford Bridge. As for Wright, he didn’t feature again for a month.

Darius Vassell

If this anecdote is anything to go by, we’re ruling ‘Surgeon’ out of the striker’s post-football career plans.

Fed up with having a swollen big toe, the then-Aston Villa ace attempted to relieve the pressure by drilling through the toenail with a power tool.

No, we don’t get it either.

He unsurprisingly spent several weeks on the sidelines.

Leroy Lita

Reading fans were left rather nonplussed when striker Lita managed to injure himself by, er, stretching in bed.

Then-Royals boss Steve Coppell informed the media: “Leroy is in a great deal of pain. It is not an injury that should be ridiculed or made light of.”

As for Lita, he missed the first three games of the 2007-08 season – including clashes with Manchester United and Chelsea. Not the best way to kick off the campaign.

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Dave Burin

Dave graduated with an MA in English Literature at Durham University, and worked in marketing before joining the Ladbrokes News team. A Man United fan and avid groundhopper, he’s also an ardent follower of Rugby League. You can usually find him at a ground near you, clutching a big cup of tea.