On this day in 1996, David Busst ended his career with an injury whilst playing for Coventry.
The former defender broke both his tibia and fibula of his right left after colliding with Denis Irwin and Brian McClair in a game against Manchester United.
Whilst the break was not the injury that ended his career, it was the infection contracted during the healing time that was. He had a host of operations but could still not recover, and it is Busst’s injury that is frequently cited in relation to other dreadful injuries in football history.
However, it is not just football that has a history of dreadful injuries, and we take a look at the top five across a range of sporting history.
Dave Dravecky - Baseball
Former Padres and Giants LHP Dravecky suffered both off-field and on-field issues whilst in the middle of his playing career. After undergoing surgery in 1988 to remove cancer cells from his arm, Dravecky returned to the minor leagues in 1989, and made a highly publicised return to MLB later that year. He pitched eight innings in his first game, before starting poorly in the following game with Montreal. By the sixth inning, he went to pitch, and after letting go of the ball his arm snapped with a sound that could be heard throughout the stadium.
Tyrone Prothro - American Football
Playing for the University of Alabama, wide receiver Prothro suffered a gruesome injury in 2005. Running downfield for a touchdown pass, Florida’s cornerback brought him down to the ground after jumping for the ball. The opposing defenceman landed on his lower left leg, snapping both major bones, and tearing his calf muscles. The injury ended his collegiate career, and the career of a promising star.
Napoleon McCallum - American Football
In the Los Angeles Raiders’ opening game of the 1994 NFL season, McCallum was tackled by Ken Norton Jr. of the San Francisco 49ers, and suffered an injury that forced his knee to hyper extend to an almost 45-degree angle. There was a chance his injury would have needed to se his leg amputated, but he overcame such issues, although he never played football again.
Clint Malarchuck - Ice Hockey
A veteran of three NHL teams, Malarchuck’s career was almost ended in 1989, along with his life, in a game against the St. Louis Blues. As two players tussled for the puck, they collided into goaltender Malarchuck, and his neck was sliced by the skate blade of Steve Tuttle. His carotid artery was severed, and he had to have over 300 stitches to close the wound, after thinking he would die on the ice. However, he returned to hockey not long after the life-ending incident.
Patrick Battiston - Football
The former French international is known for the incident with German goalkeeper Harold Schumacher in the 1982 World Cup, when he sustained cracked vertebrae and had teeth knocked out by the stopper. Schumacher only apologised later, and received no suspension for the incident, in which he jumped and collided with the Frenchman. Although Battiston later slipped into a coma due to the injury, he was back playing football later that season, and won the 1984 European Championship with his country.