Spookiest Sports Scares

Katie Siddall compiles her 5 most frightful sports incidents for this Halloween season

Katie Siddall
30th October 2021
Image credit: Ronnie Macdonald via Wikimedia Commons
As a Halloween special, I’m going to countdown the top 5 scariest sports moments (that I am aware of – please come to me if you have any incidents! I’m quite curious).

Let’s start with the April 2001 Manchester Derby. That day where one headline says Roy Keane “went too far for Manchester United”. Whilst wearing The Red Devils shirt, Keane took his studs to the right knee of City player Alf-Inge Håland, who was already suffering with his left knee. After having numerous operations on his knee, most people blame Keane for Håland's retirement. It is uncertain which knee made him actually retire, as Håland has never come out right stating which knee caused his retirement.

Whilst this injury is Håland's injury, more can be said on Keane. Keane received a three match ban and a £5,000 fine. When Keane brought his autobiography out, he stated that the injury was pre-meditated. This earned Keane another five match ban and an addition £150,000 fine.

Next, we move onto one of the more gruesome injuries... Lewis Moody, who is now a retired rugby union player. During one of his last matches, Moody received a stud to the eye (what is it with studs?), causing permanent blindness in one eye. After his recovery, Moody came back and started to play rugby again! He's an inspiration to see what you can do coming back from one of the worst injuries.

One sport that doesn't seem dangerous? Cricket. So how is cricket third on this list? Australian Cricketers Phillip Hughes, in 2014, and Steve Smith, in 2019, have been hit on the head whilst batting for their teams. Unfortunately, Hughes passed away whilst, more fortunately, Smith only fell unconscious.

As both men stood waiting for the ball, whilst wearing their helmets, the balls hit them where they were unprotected. For Hughes, the ball found a spot under his left ear. He was taken to hospital where he sadly passed away two days later. These were two instances that no one expected in the world of cricket.

We all know the famous incident with Peter Cech... the reasoning behind his even more famous helmet. Whilst goalkeeping against Reading, Cech received a life changing injury - he fractured his skull in a collision. Cech has once come forward about the injury and talked about the aftermath, this included memory loss.

Within football, you think about injuries to the legs (like Håland's); however, you never think about head injuries, specifically those to goalkeepers. Many think goalkeepers have the safer job on the pitch, but do they? Is it a job just as dangerous or even more dangerous?

Finally, finishing off with Formula One. Crashing in F1 tends to be expected. What doesn't tend to be expected, as much nowadays, is the drivers catching on fire. Romain Grosjean jokes about his experience of his car setting on fire; however, this has to be one of the most terrifying events witnessed.

Grosjean crashed into the barriers at the Bahrain 2020 Grand Prix, going 119mph. The car split into two and caught fire. After spending 27 seconds in the car, after impact, Grosjean managed to walk out of the fire trap receiving burns only to his hands (as his gloves set on fire). In an interview, Grosjean tried to make the subject lighter by saying that he "saw a lot of fire and thought that was not a good thing."

He brought it back down to earth when he stated that he thought he was going to die. Can we blame him for this thought?! He was sat in a burning cockpit, having tried to escape three times. Watching the live stream was horrifying enough for everyone. Imagine being there in person or, worse, being in Grosjean's place.

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