A 13-YEAR-OLD Sunderland fan suffered a broken right arm after being struck by a Pompey player’s shot on goal that went over the bar.
Eight minutes into Portsmouth’s 2-1 loss against Sunderland on Saturday, August 17, Pompey had a chance to score from a free-kick.
But the ball soared over the crossbar and hit Jonathan Crooks in the North Stand as he stuck his arm out to protect himself.
Jonathan was left with a broken radius, the bone on the thumb side of the forearm, and he had to spend a night in hospital.
The break left the all-round sportsman, who plays for his school football team and for Hylton Cricket Club as a spin bowler, distraught, but to lift his spirits Sunderland invited him to see a match at the Stadium of Light as a special guest of the club.
At first the Black Cats fan said he was just pleased it wasn’t a goal, but he soon found himself in pain.
He said: ‘I thought “I’m going to get hit in the face unless I punch it away”. It hit my arm. I went to the first aid room. They took my details and rang my mam. My dad came down for me during the second half.
‘I went to hospital, and I ended up spending Sunday night there.’
Jonathan’s mum Anita said: ‘It was a clean break. They tried to manipulate it back into place, but had to put a cast on. If the bones have moved they’ll have to put a metal plate in.’
A Sunderland FC spokesman said: ‘We attended to Jonathan on Saturday and followed up with a welfare call to his family to check how he was.
‘We know Jonathan is a keen sportsman, so missing out on his favourite sporting activities will be tough for him.
‘To help cheer him up we’ve extended an invitation to him to come to a game as a special guest of the club, when he is feeling well enough of course, and we look forward to seeing him and his family.’
A representative from Pompey said they will contact Jonathan’s family to discuss the incident.