OxStu’s Footballing Five-for Friday: Football’s Unluckiest Injuries


It’s your favourite footballing countdown’s 13th edition, and so to celebrate we’re giving you five of the unluckiest injuries to have befallen footballers…


Ivano Bonetti

Injury: Fractured cheekbone

Possibly the most exotic talent ever to grace the Grimsby Town pitch, the former Genoa, Juventus, and Sampdoria player secured his place in Grimsby folklore in an incident in 1996, that led to his departure from Blundell Park. Angered by his side’s 3-2 defeat, and a perceived lack of effort from Bonetti, manager Brian Laws snapped, hurling the nearest thing to him straight at the Italian striker. Unfortunately, the nearest thing to him happened to be a plate of chicken wings, which left Bonetti with a fractured cheekbone.


Milan Rapaic


Fenerbahceli milan rapaic


Injury: Split Eye

Not well-known outside of Croatia, despite spells at Perugia, Fenerbahce, Standard Liege, the 49-times capped midfielder should be. He once missed the start of Hajduk Split’s season after he split his eye open by somehow jabbing his boarding pass into it.


Darius Vassell

Injury: Infected Toe

The thoroughly mediocre striker who somehow managed to find himself starring for England at Euro 2004, where he missed a crucial penalty in the quarter-final against Portugal, the former Aston Villa striker showed himself a few sandwiches short of a picnic in 2003. Noticing that he had a blood blister on his big toe, he attempted to drain it with a cordless power drill. The toe soon became infected, and he had to have a segment of the nail removed.



Alex Stepney



Injury: Dislocated Jaw

Stepney should be far more widely know than he is. Matt Busby’s trusted goalkeeper for Manchester United, he was between the posts when United became the first English side to win the European Cup, and made a total of 433 appearances for the Red Devils. He makes this list, however, for a less dignified moment. During a 1975 match against Birmingham, Stepney managed to shout at his defenders in such a vigorous manner that he dislocated his jaw.


Darren Barnard

Injury: Torn Knee Ligament

Barnard was a Welsh international full-back who made 29 appearances for Chelsea in the Premier League (as well as turning out for Grimsby – what is it they put in the water there?). In 1999 he found himself playing for Barnsley, and decided to buy himself a new puppy. Unfortunately for Barnard, it wasn’t yet fully house-trained, and the Welshman slipped in the puppy’s urine, tearing a knee ligament and keeping him out for five months.



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