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Footballer makes emotional return to club after horror injuries

A BRADFORD footballer had an emotional return to his club – almost a month after suffering a career-threatening knee injury.

Jamie Underdown, 20, who plays for AFC Thackley, suffered the injury in a tackle during a game against Hemsworth Miners Welfare on November 11.

He sustained a dislocated kneecap, severed lateral cruciate ligament (LCL) and anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), and a badly damaged posterior cruciate ligament (PCL).

Now almost a month since the tackle, his mother Sarah Underdown said her son is still “depressed and in pain”, but various groups are pulling together to support him.

She said: “He has had the LCL operation done, his kneecap has been put back as far as it can go, and he will be having his ACL operation at the start of January.

“They have had to use part of his hamstring from his other leg to fasten the LCL back together.

“When they do his ACL, hopefully the LCL will be repairing as well as it should, and then they can start to look at his other injuries.

“He has been left with quite a big scar on his knee from it all.

“His brothers have been going above and beyond for him, because he can’t cook or stand up or do anything.

“He fell trying to get to the toilet from his bed two days ago which was horrendous, he is just so frustrated he cannot be independent.

“We went to Thackley at the weekend, but it was really hard for him.

“It was heartbreaking for him not to be able to play.

“Supporters were coming up to him offering their best wishes which reduced him to tears.

“All he wants to do is get back to kicking a ball, but there is 18 months of recovery first.

“The club has been great, they are doing fundraising and are organising an event to raise money for him. The support is fantastic.

“Bradford City Disabled Football Club are also trying to organise a charity game to raise money for him, and a friend is making hoodies and T-shirts to raise funds too. Everyone is pulling together for Jamie.”

Mrs Underdown also said her son’s employer, designer clothes shop Flannels, has been sympathetic towards him.

The family is continuing to fundraise to buy Jamie a wheelchair to help him live more independently, and also to pay for extra physiotherapy sessions to help him recover quicker and hopefully return to playing football.

To give to the campaign, visit justgiving.com/crowdfunding/jamieunderdown.

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