Accidents and injuries can be devastating for professional athletes and while many protect themselves financially by contacting companies such as Howden Insurance Brokers, breaks, strains, niggles and other serious conditions can ultimately be career-ending. This, of course, is the ultimate blow for people who have been used to staying in tip-top shape but it can and does happen – so let’s take a look at several athletes who never fully recovered from their injuries.
- Dean Ashton
A professional football player with great promise, Dean Ashton played for a variety of teams including Norwich City and West Ham United. He was even capped for England, but everything changed when an unfortunate tackle by Shaun Wright-Phillips during a training session for England damaged Ashton’s medial ankle ligaments which eventually forced him to hang up his boots for good. While deeply saddened by the events which took place Ashton has a positive attitude, stating: “It is one of those things that has happened and I have got to live with that now. I have to try to look to the positive things in life and there are plenty of other things in my life.”
- Owen Hargreaves
When you think of how much running, diving, kicking and tackling footballers do, it’s perhaps no surprise that numerous players from this sport have suffered serious injuries – including Owen Hargreaves. Renowned for being a dedicated and hardworking player, Hargreaves secured contracts with Bayern Munich and Manchester United but a series of injuries, including a broken leg in the early 2006-7 season, left him fighting to prove his fitness. He did everything possible to get himself back into shape, including posting fitness videos to YouTube, but ultimately a tendinitis problem in both knees forced him to give up his dream career.
- Paula Radcliffe
As the world record holder for running the fastest women’s marathon with a time of two hours 15 minutes and 25 seconds, Paula Radcliffe is undoubtedly an inspirational athlete. She is three-time winner of the London Marathon, three-time New York Marathon champion and also smashed the Chicago Marathon, but even she has been plagued by injuries during her long and successful career. As well as various hip problems, Radcliffe has also suffered a long-standing foot injury which, after surgery, left her barely able to walk, let alone run. While recognising her running career was over, Radcliffe still managed to race the London Marathon one last time in 2015 before retiring from the running world.
Speaking of her last competitive marathon she said: “It was just amazing the whole way round,” adding: “I wore the sunglasses to keep a lid on my emotions and they definitely hid some tears along the way.”