A FOOTBALL match was abandoned after a player suffered a horror injury just 90 seconds into the game.
Phil Ross, 34, had his leg shattered for the second time in the last three years after a freak tackle in the early stages of Hartlepool FC’s game against Prudhoe Town.
The horror injury saw a metal rod which was inserted into Phil’s leg after the previous incident completely snapped.
Paramedics rushed to the scene at Grayfields, in Jesmond Road, Hartlepool, just after 2pm on Saturday.
Phil. who lives in the Rossmere area of town with his partner, Sarah, 26, and one-year old son Charlie, was taken to the University Hospital of North Tees where he underwent an operation yesterday.
His dad, also called Phil, 56, who also lives in the Rossmere area, was at the game and said his son was laid on the pitch with a blanket covering “a lump sticking out of his leg” while waiting for the ambulance to arrive.
He added: “Unfortunately I don’t think he is going to be able to play again.
“He has his own building business in the town, so has to think of that.
John Ward, Chairman of Hartlepool FC, said: “Everybody at the club is gutted and sickened by this serious injury to Phil.
“The club wishes him a speedy recovery, although this does mean his playing days are over.
“I am sure I echo these wishes from every football fan in the town.”
Mr Ross, who is a dad of six is married to Christine, 46, added: “The ambulance was very slow to arrive.
“Response came first and it was one young lady on her own. I asked her where the ambulance was and she said she couldn’t get through to them.
“I have no idea what they were doing, there was a hospital two minutes away.”
Phil who works as a driver furnaceman, in Hartlepool, added: “The whole thing was an absolute shambles.
“When the response lady did get through to the ambulance she passed the phone to Phil and he had to tell them what had happened.
“He was laid flat out on the pitch and he had to explain it all and say where the pain was.”
A spokesperson for the North East Ambulance Service said: “We received a call at 2.05pm on Saturday, February 12, and the response paramedic arrived at the scene six minutes later.
“After assessing the situation, the paramedic rang for an ambulance at 2.26pm.
“The ambulance was dispatched and arrived at 2.35pm.”