Lindfield physio: Loxwood footballer ‘swallowed tongue’ in friendly match

Michael Wood in action for Loxwood. Pic Steve Robards SUS-150427-132624001
Michael Wood in action for Loxwood. Pic Steve Robards SUS-150427-132624001

A quick-thinking physiotherapist rushed to the aid of a footballer who was knocked unconscious and swallowed his tongue during a match on Saturday (July 4).

Michael Wood, 22, was caught with an elbow by a teammate during Loxwood’s friendly against Burgess Hill Town at Ardingly College.

Jerry Gurr, the physio for Haywards Heath Town who happened to be watching the game, saw the incident and immediately ran to treat the stricken player.

He said: “He was in a bad way, there was blood coming from his mouth and nose. He started to turn blue which worried me a bit.

“I found his tongue which was in the back of his throat, I managed to pull that out and then he started to move.

“It was a really touch and go situation and quite hair-raising for me.”

Jerry, 60, of Lindfield, is a qualified medic and said it was ‘fate’ that he happened to be at the match.

He said: “I saw the guy in really bad shape and just rushed straight on, I didn’t even bother to ask - I knew it was a matter of life and death.

“It was lucky I was there when the guy needed me. He was lifeless for about a minute.”

Jerry added that the physio from Burgess Hill also helped attend to Mr Wood.

An ambulance was called at 3.40pm and Mr Wood was taken to the Princess Royal Hospital for further assessment, before being released in the evening.

Loxwood manager Mark Beard spoke to the player on Saturday evening and Sunday and said he was ‘ok’.

He said: “One of the boys got put through and as he went to shoot he swung his arm and caught Michael Wood with his elbow.

“Both players went down so at first we thought they just bumped into each other.

“The Haywards Heath physio went running on and Michael Wood was out cold, and it took him about a minute to come around.

“It is part and parcel of any sport, you are going to get injuries. I spoke to him on Saturday night and he was ok.”

The incident happened in the second half of the game.

Reigning Ryman South champions Burgess Hill went on to defeat their county league opponents 5-2.

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