Leave headers to the pros, NHS warns England fans getting injured in drunken kickabouts

The NHS has warned that England’s Euro 2020 success has led to a spike in injuries among drunk men during celebratory kickabouts.

Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust has urged football fans to “leave tacklers and headers to the pros” and stick to watching the Three Lions on the sofa following a rise in patients attempting to emulate their favourite players.

Twisted ankles, broken legs and concussion are some of the injuries patients are increasingly being admitted with at the trust’s emergency department since England began its historic race to the final of the tournament last month.

Doctors highlighted the role of alcohol in some of the medical mishaps they have witnessed, and are now urging men who have “had a few beers” to be especially careful when using jumpers for goalposts.

Dr Rob White, Cornwall’s urgent and emergency care lead clinician, said: “Our hospitals are really busy at the moment, and we’ve seen an increase in people with sports-related injuries needing treatment.

“The NHS actively encourages people to stay active with apps like Couch to 5K, but we want people to know their limits and take care when playing sports, particularly if they’re having a kickabout with friends after a few beers.

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“Players like Harry Maguire and Raheem Sterling train for years to tackle, defend and score goals, and the sad reality is that most of us will never reach their dizzy heights of success. So have fun, keep fit, but please leave the nifty footwork to the professionals.”

The trust’s emergency department and minor injury unit is getting so busy that it is now asking anyone with minor football-related injuries to instead call their GP or NHS 111 for advice.

“Cuts and scrapes can be treated at home using antiseptic, and plasters and bandages to avoid infections,” the trust said.

Ben Shephard, the presenter of ITV’s Good Morning Britain, has been recovering in hospital this week after injuring his leg while playing in the final of the Arthur Dunn veterans’ cup.

“Without realising, I have ruptured my ACL, torn the meniscus and fractured part of my leg as well,” he said.

“Interestingly, I didn’t realise I’d done it quite so bad. I kept playing for 20 or 25 minutes before I thought, ‘it feels a little bit unstable, maybe I should stop’.”

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