Dramatic cup final in Letchworth as air ambulance called after Hitchin footballer breaks ankle
- Credit: Archant
It was a dramatic cup final in more ways than one on Saturday, as an air ambulance was called to the County Ground in Letchworth midway through the first half of Wymondley FC’s pulsating Herts and Borders Christian League Trophy win.
The match – being played against Buckinghamshire outfit Holy Trinity FC – was held up for an hour after Wymondley FC winger Spencer Ryan suffered a double break and dislocation of his right ankle.
The 18-year-old – a pupil at Hitchin Boys’ School – was taken to the Lister Hospital in Stevenage by road, and was replaced on the pitch by his older brother Mitchell.
In the end Wymondley FC won the tie 2–0 thanks to an ‘unstoppable’ free-kick and 30-yard lob from Gary Henniker – but thoughts immediately turned to Spencer’s welfare after the game.
Manager John Berry said: “Everyone was shocked, as we were waiting for what we thought would be an ambulance, Spencer’s mother Tracy had a panic attack.
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“Spencer’s leg was being held secure by his teammate Francis Ofori – an ex-soldier who did tours of Iraq and Afganistan.
“He used the same army hold that he would have done if someone’s limb had been blown off.
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“After it happened I said to my players: ‘We win this now for Spencer, there is no way we are going to go to the hospital and tell him we didn’t win’.
“It was great victory for the team and village in the end, but it’s just such a tragedy for Spencer.
“He has been a big part of the season and is a very fast, goal-scoring winger.
“After the final whistle, Spencer’s father Jeremy, and Mitchell visited him in hospital with the trophy.”
The team only need a point from their remaining two games to clinch the double, and, with a new pavilion opening earlier in the season, things are looking rosy for Wymondley.
“I’ve been working on regenerating sport in the village for most of my life,” said John. “We are hoping to restart the cricket team.
“Doing the double may enable us the have two teams next year and even a youth team at a later point.”