For the most part, football is supposed to be a non-contact sport where injuries are common, but not typically too severe or embarrassing. Of course, you’ll get the sprained ankles, minor concussions, and in severe cases, torn ACLs. However, you hardly see injuries that some would consider to be gruesome or jaw-dropping.
Throughout the history of the English Premier League, though, there have been a handful of injuries where supporters had to look away. For those that are squeamish, you might not want to be reminded of some of these injuries. Anyone that has a strong stomach will be just fine, though. Here are the five worst injuries that have happened in the Premier League, with varying reasons as to why they’re the ‘worst.’
1. David Busst
David Busst was a center-back who made his debut in 1992 for Coventry City and played on the team for 50 appearances. However, that 50th one would be his last, as Coventry City squared off against Manchester United in 1996. Coming off of a corner kick, Busst went for a putback shot but met with a Man U defender in front of the net.
Busst broke his leg in two places, ending his career. The goalkeeper for Manchester United saved the shot and when he took a peek at Busst’s leg, he walked away covering his eyes as the play stopped. Busst would eventually become a manager from 2000 to 2006.
2. Eduardo da Silva
Brazilian forward Eduardo da Silva made his way to Arsenal in 2007 and had a strong first season to help lift the squad into first place. Early in his second season, though, Eduardo suffered a gruesome injury in a match against Birmingham City. Eduardo was tackled by Martin Taylor and had to go to the hospital right away due to it being an open fracture.
The response was heavy, with many calling for Martin Taylor of Birmingham City to be banned from the Premier League. Taylor would be banned for three matches while Eduardo took an entire year to recover. Thankfully, he would play again and score in his first match before suffering another injury on the same day.
3. Peter Cech
After starting his senior career in his native Czech Republic and heading to France to play for Rennes, goalkeeper Peter Cech made his way to the Premier League to play for Chelsea in 2004. Cech remained with Chelsea for over a decade, but there was a severe setback in 2006 that caused him to sit out for months.
Cech left the box to chase down a loose ball in a match against Reading, and Stephen Hunt was going for the ball at the same time. The two had a collision with Hunt’s knee hitting Cech’s head. Cech’s skull was fractured and nearly died from the injury, but emergency services were able to save his life and he came back to the pitch just three months later wearing a rugby helmet.
4. Pedro Mendes
After spending time with several clubs, Pedro Mendes began his time with Portsmouth in 2006, coming over from Tottenham Hotspur. Mendes and Portsmouth were taking on Manchester City with Mendes chasing a loose ball while Ben Thatcher was doing the same. The two collided right at the boundary, with Thatcher’s arm catching the side of Mendes’s head.
Mendes slid into the barrier and almost immediately began seizing. His teammates quickly asked for medical assistance and he was rushed to the hospital. Thankfully, there was no long-term damage and Mendes was discharged from the hospital the following day.
5. Ryan Mason
Midfielder Ryan Mason spent much of his senior career with Tottenham Hotspur and was sent out on loan more than a half dozen times. Finally, Mason made his way to Hull City where he would play the rest of his career, though it was unfortunately cut short. In a 2017 game against Chelsea, Mason went up for a header and his skull collided with Gary Cahill’s.
Both men were immediately lying on the pitch, with Mason suffering the worst of it. Mason had to have more than a dozen metal plates put into his head after being diagnosed with a skull fracture and was forced to retire from professional football.