My next appointment at the hospital was in 8 weeks time so i sat back and turned my bedroom into a place of self indulgence. Easy to reach books, magazines, remotes were not heard of so a snooker cue came in handy and a table with all my favourite sweets and crisps. Absolute bliss for the first few days and then some questions had to be answered. The most important one being my schooling and in one of the most important years as well. As a fifteen year old who was used to being physically and mentally active it was so difficult to come to terms with a day to day existence in bed where the nagging pain in my leg when the painkillers wore off, in the end became a relief to the boredom of the day. I had homework delivered to the house on a weekly basis but the motivation dried up and I knew I was falling behind.
Six weeks later I was looking forward to getting out of my “prison” with a trip to the hospital. Over the last weeks my strength had gone, wastage was setting in and bed sores on my bum and heels were uncomfortable. I had to be carried down the stairs by my Dad and Uncle George and put length ways into the car. At the hospital I had the slab and bandages removed which gave me a great opportunity to scratch away the dead skin and those of you that have experienced this will know what an euphoric pleasure that is. I had a full length plaster of paris put on but still with no heel which meant I still couldn’t put any weight to the floor. I forgot to mention that when they removed the bandages I was privy for the first time to see my leg once again in its original condition, straight. The only real change was the six inch “S” shaped scar under the knee and a round scar on the patella. The ligaments were being held together with half a dozen oversized staples and I remained unable to lift my sparrow leg in the air.
After six months I had my second op to see how the knee was and to remove the staples.
Over the next eight to nine months I stayed at home which must have been stressful to my family especially when I lost the plot a couple of times and demolished my bedroom. I continued to not take much notice of my school work and all I could think about was my final appointment at the hospital to remove the plaster. Anyway who cared about school when you could do 200 headers against a bedroom wall.
Weeks before my final appointment my ankle had swollen and locked and to put a sock on was painful. When I arrived at Chase Farm I was wheeled into the doctor’s office and he cut off the plaster while I explained about my “Hans Krankl”. My leg was just a bone but he was pleased with the healing of the knee and the scar looked clean and healthy. He examined my ankle which was now a problem because of its lack of movement over the year and proceeded to manipulate it up and down and backwoods and forwards. Did I scream with pain and shout you “Fxxxxxx Txxx Doc!” or what, but it was the only way to get some movement back. To this day it still cracks all the time and I get more pain from the poxy ankle than my knee.
I was led out of the room while the specialist spoke to my dad alone and when they came out I was told that everything was fine and a programme of rehabilitation could take place. In latter years I learnt that some of my growth bone was removed and my injury would not stand up to professional football but because I was so young I had a lot of growing left to do and a better assessment could be made when I was 21. My dad kept that from me but obviously Spurs must have known the truth. That’s the indelible thoughts of injury AND now the real hard work begins.