Football Features

Lucas Paqueta’s kite accident and ten other freak footballer injuries you might not know about

By Andrew Francis

freak injuries to footballers

Published: 20:07, 24 June 2022

Injuries are part and parcel of football but sometimes players are sidelined for reasons a little out of the ordinary. 

The most recent freak injury came this week when Lyon midfielder Lucas Paqueta revealed the dangers of “children’s games”. 

Paqueta, who scored 14 times in all competitions last season, shared on Instagram that he was being taken for minor surgery on his hand after cutting his finger flying a kite.

“Remember that children’s games also have their consequences. I went to fly a kite today and cut my finger. Everything is fine, but to avoid any problems with movement in the future, tomorrow I will have a minor surgery,” he wrote alongside an image of himself in a hospital bed. 

It’s unlikely Paqueta will miss any of the new season but it’s not the first time that a seemingly innocuous activity has taken a footballer out of action. Here are 10 more examples of freak injuries sustained by footballers.

1) Lee Hodges (Barnet): Hodges spent time at Tottenham, Plymouth and Reading, but it was while he was plying his trade at Underhill that he missed a spell of action after slipping on a bar of soap in the shower and tearing his groin.

2) Kevin Kyle (Sunderland): Kyle was famed for his combative style on the pitch, but it was his eight-month-old son who ruled him out of action for a during his time at The Stadium of Light. The nipper kicked a bowl of boiling water over his dad’s crotch, forcing him into a hospital visit and keeping him out of Sunderland’s crunch tie with Everton that week.

3) Julio Arca (Sunderland): Kyle can’t lay claim to the strangest reason for an injury at Sunderland, though. That award goes to the versatile Argentine Arca, who was ruled out after taking a dip in the North Sea with some teammates. The player was stung by a jellyfish and suffered severe swelling, leaving him sidelined for a few days.

Jon Parkin, former Sunderland striker nicknamed ‘the Beast’, explained to podcast Under the Cosh: “He comes out shaking, gets back to the training ground and three of the lads are p***ing on our best player. Seriously.”

4) Liam Lawrence (Stoke City): Animals are becoming a recurring theme here and while it’s often said that dog’s are man’s best friend, that didn’t ring true for Liam Lawrence. He took a tumble down a flight of stairs, injuring his ankle, after tripping over his dog in 2008.

5) David Batty (Leeds United): It’s not just pets that are a hazard at home. Kids can be a nuisance, too. Just ask David Batty. The Leeds and England midfielder was recovering from an ankle injury when he tripped over his daughter’s tricycle, injuring his Achilles tendon and keeping him out for a few extra weeks. I bet that makes it into his father of the bride speech…

6) Alan Wright (Aston Villa): Wright was known for his shorter stature compared to most of his fellow professionals, but his height was the cause of injury at one point. Wright, who had recently acquired a new Ferrari, strained his knee stretching for the accelerator and faced much ridicule from his teammates.

7) Alex Stepney (Manchester United): Stand down, Roy Keane. There’s another former Man United player challenging for the title of most intimidating. Goalkeeper Stepney once dislocated his jaw shouting so loudly at his defence during a match against Birmingham City. Peter Schmeichel never had it so easy.

8) Steve Morrow (Arsenal): Possibly the most famous on this list. Morrow was hoisted up by Tony Adams as Arsenal celebrated their 1993 League Cup win. Adams didn’t quite know his own strength, though, breaking Morrow’s collarbone by throwing the defender over his shoulder and onto deck.

9) Santiago Canizares (Valenia): Quite high stakes for this one. Canizares, Spain’s number two keeper, was ruled out of the 2002 World Cup after dropping a bottle of aftershave in his sink. A piece of the shattered glass fell onto his foot, severing a tendon and ruling him out of the biggest competition in world football.

10) Michael Stensgaard (Liverpool): Shortly after joining the Merseyside club the Danish goalkeeper dislocated his shoulder putting the ironing board away. This stopped him ever making an appearance for Liverpool and recurring injuries stemming from the ironing board incident eventually led to him quitting the game.