Pools star Liddle happy in mask

Gary Liddle gets in a first half shot. Picture by FRANK REID
Gary Liddle gets in a first half shot. Picture by FRANK REID

MAN-IN-THE-MASK Gary Liddle will continue to put his head on the line for Hartlepool United, admitting: “I don’t know any better”.

The 25-year-old, nicknamed “Hero Head” among team-mates, will turn out for the first time at Victoria Park tomorrow since smashing his cheekbone in two places during the 1-1 draw with Walsall.

He has defied those who forecast the injury would keep him out of action for a prolonged period, instead insisting on the fitting of a protective face mask to accelerate his return.

And Liddle, incredibly, was back in Pools colours within a fortnight of surgery on the double fracture.

The midfielder accepts he is running the risk of further injury, but, ahead of tomorrow’s meeting with Exeter City, he told SportMail there’s only one place he wants to at 3pm on a Saturday afternoon.

“I’d rather be out playing with the lads than stuck in with the physios – all I want to do is play,” he said.

“It’s a risk and I’ve been warned about it – any little knock or bump could put me back to square one.

“But I’d rather play in the mask than sit in the treatment room for seven weeks.”

SEE Friday’s Mail for full story