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Wednesday, 5 September, 2001, 13:35 GMT 14:35 UK
Couch potatoes and salad cream
The list of bizarre injuries is very long
The list of bizarre injuries goes on and on
BBC Sport Online chronicles some of the stranger causes of sporting injuries.

They say anything can happen in football and that adage has been backed up once again by events at Birmingham City.

Blues defender Darren Purse has broken his wrist after blocking a shot from - wait for it - none other than manager Trevor Francis.

As if Francis hasn't had enough injury problems to contend with in recents seasons, this latest self-inflicted blow will see Purse sidelined for at least six weeks.

"Darren put his arm up to stop the ball hitting his face," explained Francis.

Darren Purse
Purse has broken his wrist in two places

"It smashed into his arm and broke it in two places."

Bizarre to say the least, this is not the only mishap to strike footballers and sporting stars in general.

Chelsea's Italian goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini had to have a minor operation after injuring his knee while walking his dog.

Leeds defender Rio Ferdinand managed to strain a tendon in his knee while indulging in a more sedentary activity.

As his manager, David O'Leary explained: "He was watching television and had his foot up on the coffee table. He had it there in a certain position for a number of hours ... and strained a tendon behind his knee."

The list of some of the most unusual ways to get injured also includes former England keeper Dave Beasant.

Darren Purse
Purse has broken his wrist in two places

During his time at Southampton, Beasant managed to rupture ankle ligaments after dropping a bottle of salad cream on his foot.

He was attempting to control the falling bottle, which he had accidentally knocked over, but only succeeded in sidelining himself for two months.

Coventry midfielder Youssef Chippo and Tottenham's former Danish international Alan Nielsen were victims of unprovoked eye pokes - albeit from familiar faces.

Nielsen missed several matches after his daughter prodded him in the eye, while Chippo was injured by team-mates after celebrating a goal against Preston North End.

Arsenal players have also been 'crocked' by unforeseen circumstances.

Former fans' favourite Charlie George cut off his finger in a freak lawnmower accident while Steve Morrow was the victim of "excessive celebrations" after scoring the winning goal in the 1993 Littlewoods Cup final against Sheffield Wednesday.

Embarrasing list

A jubilant Tony Adams hoisted Morrow high into the air - only to drop him and break the Northern Ireland international's shoulder.

Cricketers are by no means exempt from the rather embarrassing list.

Former England all-rounder Derek Pringle injured his back after leaning back in his chair while writing a letter.

Then, during a tour of the West Indies, Chris Lewis decided to shave his head and promptly got sunstroke.

French cycling star Laurent Jalabert fell two metres from a ladder while changing a lightbulb at his home near Geneva in Switzerland.

In America, Texas Rangers' Oddibe McDowell missed the start of the baseball season after he cut his finger while buttering a roll at the team's welcome-home luncheon.

A bald head proved painful for Chris Lewis
A bald head proved painful for Chris Lewis

But sometimes these bizarre episodes can have fatal consequences.

Spare a thought for Indonesian footballer Mistar, who was tragically killed by a stampede of wild pigs which invaded his team's training pitch before a Cup fixture in 1995.

Another who suffered a similar - and unforeseen - end was racing driver Camille Jenatzy.

Sneaked outside

In 1913, the Belgian took a group of friends boar hunting. Unfortunately, the hunting was poor and the group resorted to a long dinner and drinking session instead.

Jenatzy was convinced their luck was about to improve and offered bets they would be shooting within the next two hours.

After everyone had gone to bed, he sneaked outside and began making sounds like a wild boar to arouse the sleepy interests of his buddies.

But his own cunning plan backfired as the windows were suddenly flung open and shots were fired.

The hapless Jenatzy died on the spot.

See also:

07 Jul 01 |  Chelsea
Cudicini injured walking his dog
22 Jan 01 |  Leeds United
Ferdinand injured in freak accident
14 Feb 01 |  Other Sports
Jalabert making good recovery
12 Dec 00 |  Other Sports
Rocket rocked by injury
Links to more Funny Old Game stories are at the foot of the page.


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