Gary Haveron only thought he had seen serious injuries in football but nothing even came close to what he witnessed at Inver Park on Saturday.
He realised the very second Scott Irvine crashed into the perimeter wall after an everyday coming together with a Carrick Rangers opponent.
“I’ve suffered a broken leg and had other injuries and, like everyone else playing contact sports, I’ve seen lots of incidents in which guys have broken bones of all sorts, but Saturday’s was a freak injury and the moment it happened I started running across the pitch because it was very obvious that it was so, so serious.” said the Carrick manager.
“I was at the opposite side of the ground but when Scott came into contact with the wall it was extremely worrying. It was something that was terrible to behold and for quite a while everyone was understandably very concerned for Scott’s welfare.
“It was a match that was a huge event for both clubs and suddenly it meant nothing, which shows how football is put into perspective when something so unfortunate happens to a player. I don’t think there was anybody in the ground right then who would have said other than that. Football was the last thing on their minds.
“Fortunately there were some great people on hand to look after Scott until the paramedics arrived, the two team physios Joe Crawford and Stephen Luney and a paramedic in the crowd, Brendan Magill. They did amazingly well to work with Scott waiting for the ambulance to arrive.
“We have a backlog of fixtures, but that never entered my head for many hours afterwards, Larne manager Davy McAlinden very generously keeping me informed of Scott’s condition as he learned of it at the hospital where he spent hours.
“And I must absolutely commend Davy for contacting Conor McCloskey, the player who had been involved in what was a totally innocuous shoulder-to-shoulder contact, which led to the unfortunate accident.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with Scott.”
He added: “ The two clubs are asking patrons turning up for the match now scheduled for Tuesday, January 20 to donate £5 each. The money will be given to Scott’s family to help cover his wages losses and maybe contribute towards medical costs or whatever is needed during his absence from the game.
“Football is looked at in a different and more appropriate light when things like this happen.”