Injuries are an everyday part of football. Players have to look after their bodies when they feel something wrong or risk missing a large chunk of the football season. Modern footballers tend to take themselves off when they feel an ache, twinge, or problem with a body part. Of course, some injuries can be serious and unavoidable like a torn ACL or broken bone.
Some football players have been known to play through pain and injury for their teammates. It may have been in a big cup final or World Cup tournament, but there have been players who have played through some serious injuries to leave an iconic mark on the game.
Bert Trautman – Broken neck
A normal person would need immediate medical attention after suffering a broken neck. Not Manchester City goalkeeper Bert Trautman. Playing in the 1956 FA Cup Final against Birmingham City, Trautman broke his neck with over a quarter of an hour to play. Leading 3-1, Trautman soldiered on to help the Cityzens lift the cup.
Gerry Byrne – Broken collarbone
Liverpool’s Gerry Byrne has been called “the toughest of them all”. The full-back broke his collarbone against Leeds United in the FA Cup Final in 1965. Liverpool had yet to win the famous trophy and Byrne endured the pain for 117 minutes to help the Reds win the cup for the first time.
Terry Butcher – Headwound
Terry Butcher looked like a battered UFC fighter or professional wrestler following England’s World Cup 1990 qualifier against Sweden. Butcher suffered a massive gash on his head that was stitched up on the sidelines. However, every header loosened the stitches as he wore a crimson mask that ran down his face and stained his shirt. It is one of the most iconic images in football history.
Franz Beckenbauer – Broken collarbone
“Der Kaiser” played in West Germany’s 1970 World Cup semifinal loss to Italy with a broken collarbone. The match went 120 minutes with Franz Beckenbauer struggling with injury through most of it.
Stuart Pearce – Broken leg
Stuart Pearce suffered a broken leg after colliding with Watford’s Micah Hyde while playing for West Ham in 1999. Not wanting to come off, Pearce began running off the injury, which was impossible. To keep the injury from getting worse, Pearce kept his boot on to keep his foot in place.