Tottenham: This isn’t the end of the road for Ryan Mason

With the news of Ryan Mason’s imminent retirement, RealSport look back at some of the players who have had their careers curtailed through injury.

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(Photo credit: @cfcunofficial (Chelsea Debs) London)

Capped once for England, Ryan Mason retired from football earlier this week on the strength of medical advice. 

Having spent just over a year battling to recover from a fractured skull, the 26-year-old has now regained his health but has wisely chosen not to risk himself any further by putting himself back on the pitch.

Amongst the deluge of condolences and words of strength proffered to him, Mauricio Pochettino’s ringing endorsement stands tall. 

Having coached Mason at Tottenham before he made a £12 million switch to Hull, Pochettino has fully backed the midfielder to shine within a different role in the game.

Below we look at three other major footballing injuries that cut-short promising careers, only to give rise to new opportunities within the sport.

David Busst

Most people are aware of the infamous incident which ended Alf-Inge Haaland’s career in 2001. However, one of the most unfortunate and horrific Premier League injuries happened five years earlier on the same pitch. 

With the season coming to an end, Coventry City made the trip to Old Trafford looking to avoid relegation. 

In only the second minute of the match, a high ball swung into the box by the Sky Blues from the right corner saw Peter Schmeichel make a clawing save on his line. 

The resulting challenge for the second-ball had David Busst caught between clearances from Brian McClair and Dennis Irwin who was stationed on the back post, resulting in an accidental collision which left his leg snapped to an inverted 90-degree angle with a broken bone piercing his skin.

After 22 operations, Busst had lost a quarter of his right leg’s muscle mass. More importantly, his leg was saved and he was able to lead a normal life once more. 

His pragmatic mentality was helped financially by a star-studded testimonial which became the first benefit match to sell out in advance.

Following his recovery, Busst returned to the game having attained his coaching badges and proceeded to work in a coaching role at Coventry. Other than some brief managerial spells at lower-league Clubs, Busst has excelled in his role within the “Sky Blues In The Community” charity which he is now the director of.

Under his guidance, the charity is now its own business entity and has grown far beyond its original scope of promoting football in the local area. 

With a mission of changing lives for the better, Busst has helped many communities across Warwickshire improve their levels of health, education and personal development.

Fabrice Muamba

At 6:13 pm on Saturday 17 March 2012, there occurred a moment that shocked the world. 

Live on TV, an FA Cup quarterfinal between Tottenham and Bolton was abandoned after Fabrice Muamba fell to the turf in the 41st-minute having suffered a cardiac arrest.

The then-23-year-old Bolton central midfielder’s heart stopped beating for a full 78 minutes and was only saved by the high-quality medical facilities that were close at hand. 

Muamba received two defibrillation shocks on the pitch and another in the tunnel before twelve more in the ambulance on the way to the London Chest Hospital in Bethnal Green.

While physically able to continue playing the game, Muamba retired from football on the advice of specialists who warned a repeat occurrence could not be ruled out. 

In place of playing the sport, Muamba quickly moved from the pitch to the commentary box where he worked for British TV stations covering the 2013 African Cup of Nations. 

To take this career change further, Muamba has now completed a BA in sports journalism and is looking to establish himself as a prominent member of the media.

Brian Clough

His name may be instantly recognisable for his managerial exploits. However, Brian Clough’s phenomenal career in football began on the pitch itself rather than the sidelines. 

The centre-forward may have only played for Sunderland and Middlesbrough, predominantly in the second-tier of English football but Clough had a remarkable scoring record. 

His spiky personality was present at this early stage. However, he was able to back-up his demanding, often sarcastic outbursts with 267 goals from 296 appearances.

A match against Bury on Boxing Day, 1962 saw the 29-year-old striker collide with the keeper in a 50-50 challenge, rupturing the medial and cruciate ligaments of his right knee in the process.

While this type of injury is relatively easily treated in the modern game, it effectively spelt the end of his career. 

After three games in the first division two years later, it was clear he would never be able to play at the top level again, a change which thrust him into a different path that would write his name into the history books in a different way.

Do you have any fond memories of Ryan Mason’s career? Let us know by commenting in the section below.

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