Injuries are a sportsperson’s worst fear. At best they lead to a period on the sidelines. At worst, they can lead to the end of your career, or in extreme cases, your life. All it can take is a mistimed tackle, a bad fall, or a heavy collision, and your life is turned upside down forever.
But, what are the most notorious injuries in sports history? Here we talk you through sporting moments that will go down in history for all the wrong reasons.
*WARNING: Graphic content*
Alf Inge Haaland, 2001
Back in 1997 Manchester United’s Roy Keane injured his anterior cruciate ligament trying to tackle Leeds’ Alf Inge Haaland. As Keane writhed around on the floor, Haaland criticized him for being overzealous in his challenge. Keane was stretchered off the pitch, and was out of the game for a year.
Fast forward four years. Keane is still at Manchester United, whilst Haaland is now playing for rivals Manchester City. During a meeting between the two sides, Haaland and Keane go for a 50-50 ball. However, instead of playing the ball, Keane kicks out at Haaland, landing on the latter’s knee with his right foot.
Haaland never fully recovered from the injury sustained in the tackle and retired fewer than two years later. Keane admitted in his autobiography that the challenge was an act of vengeance, and received a £150k fine from the Football Association.
Borje Salming, 1986
Salming was a Swedish Ice Hockey professional most associated with the Canadian side Toronto Maple Leafs. Back in November 1986 the Leafs met with the Detroit Redwings in a crunch NHL match. At one point in the game, Salming was knocked to the ice, at which point Redwings player Gerard Gallant accidentally cut Borje’s face with his skate blade.
Salming received facial surgery, as well as over 200 stitches. Not one to hold a grudge, he signed for the Redwings a few years later.