Injury ends young footballer's playing days

Amateur footballer Luke Conde has been told he may lose his foot after breaking his leg in four places during a match.

The 23-year-old Ketton FC defender's football career is over and he may also be forced to change jobs in the Army.

Luke is still recovering in hospital more than four weeks after the horrific injury, which happened while he was playing for the Stamford-based Sunday team, Lord Burghley FC, against McCains at Thorney, near Peterborough.

He said: "The doctors don't know how it will turn out at the moment. There is still a possibility I could lose my foot. I am just hoping I can get some feeling back in it. If I was older it would be much worse for me but I am young and healthy and it will hopefully heal."

Luke grew up in Ketton and his family still live there. He continued to play for his village club on Saturdays even after joining the Army – he was based in Colchester in Essex when he was injured.

"I foolishly stopped having insurance for playing football this year and I would be badly out of pocket if I was in another job," said Luke.

"The Army have said they will look after me though and help with my recovery. I was working as a radio systems operator before the injury and if it doesn't heal properly I may have to do something else in the Army like IT."

Luke still winces when he recalls breaking his leg. It was a 50-50 tackle and he does not blame the opposition player who challenged him.

"We both went in and I heard the leg snap," added Luke. "There was a lot of pain and I was taken to Peterborough Hospital.

"I am disappointed that my football career is finished. I have been playing at Ketton since I was 14 and I loved it. The club has been very supportive to me and the manager Sooty Pearce has regularly telephoned me which really helps. It is a bad injury but there are a lot of people worse off than me."