Footballer has surgery after broken leg halts game in Warrnambool

Russells Creek reserves footballer Leiam Southwick. Picture: AARON SAWALL
Russells Creek reserves footballer Leiam Southwick. Picture: AARON SAWALL

PLAY was abruptly cut short when a footballer suffered a broken leg and had to be taken from the oval by ambulance on Saturday at Warrnambool’s Reid Oval.

Leiam Southwick was writhing in pain when two off-duty paramedics came to his assistance moments before the third-quarter siren — one of them was an umpire preparing for a subsequent game.

Last night the 19-year-old was recovering after surgery in Warrnambool Base Hospital where a metal plate was screwed to his fractured fibula.

He also suffered a dislocated ankle.

“I knew it wasn’t going to end well when I felt two hands on my shoulders and crashed to the ground in a tangle of legs with the other player on top of me,” he told The Standard.

“I had been in the centre, scooped the ball off the ground and started running when I was tackled.

“I had been playing well and was a good chance for best-on-ground.

“When I crashed I knew straight away the leg was broken.

“Bone was protruding and part of the leg was bent the wrong way.

“There was a fair amount of pain.

“Luckily off-duty paramedics came over straight away. I thank them and all the other people who assisted, especially my club (Russells Creek Football Netball Club).

“Unfortunately the game had to be abandoned.”

The abrupt finish handed East Warrnambool a 45-point victory in the Warrnambool and District league reserves match.

Southwick is no stranger to football injury having been concussed twice in the past two months, the first in a practice match.

The former Canberra rugby player took up Aussie rules after moving to Warrnambool in 2008.

His return to the field will depend on his recovery and medical advice.