‘I won’t play again’ says injured ace

Dan Hill suffered a broken leg playing for Little Common against Eastbourne Borough last week
Dan Hill suffered a broken leg playing for Little Common against Eastbourne Borough last week

Popular footballer Dan Hill says he won’t play competitively again after sustaining a broken leg last week.

The 27-year-old attacking player broke his tibia playing for Little Common in their Parafix Sussex Senior Challenge Cup third round tie away to Eastbourne Borough.

A self-employed carpenter, Hill is now facing the financial implications of paying the rent on his Bexhill property while off work for three months.

He said: “I might play a bit of five-a-side, but I won’t be playing competitively again. That’s the most gutting thing to be honest.”

Hill was nicking the ball away from Dean Sinclair when the Borough midfielder’s trailing knee caught him straight through his right boot. Although play initially continued, Hill knew straight away he was in trouble as the bottom of his leg wouldn’t move.

An ambulance was called and Hill was taken to The Conquest Hospital in Hastings where he was followed by several of his former Bexhill United team-mates, who were watching the game, and his girlfriend, who came down from London. He spent the night in hospital before being allowed home the following evening.

The good news for Hill is that it’s quite a clean break. He was placed in a temporary full leg cast and a new one was fitted on Tuesday. He now faces 10 weeks non-weight bearing and hopefully the bone with heal correctly.

The bad news was that the painkilling tablets Hill was given caused him to be sick and hallucinate, and he ended up returning to hospital. The cast was cut open to check the problem wasn’t being caused by his leg and it was eventually diagnosed as a chest infection. Only this week has he started to feel better.

Few footballers can have been as unfortunate with injuries down the years as Hill. Having endured ankle ligament and back problems among others in the past, he returned to action this season after a knee operation last term and was finally enjoying playing on a regular basis.

“I just wanted to do a full season,” added Hill, who is the second Common player to suffer a broken leg in eight months after Adam Smith on Easter Monday. Smith, incidentally, was one of the first on the scene of Hill’s injury. “I’ve not done one for so long and I was feeling alright.”

Despite a ‘nightmare’ week since the injury, Hill - a bubbly and much-liked character - has been comforted by the many messages of support he has received from the local football community.