Boroughbridge striker Matt Thompson broke his leg in a horror collision on Saturday, just days before he was due to leave for a new life in Gibraltar.
’Bridge were trailing 1-0 at league new boys Shelley in the 71st minute, when Thompson was tackled heavily near the touchline before he collided with the pitch side barrier.
The forward suffered a broken tibia and fibula in his right leg and required an operation on Sunday morning.
The Shelley player was sent off for the challenge and play was halted for 45 minutes whilst Thompson received treatment. The match ended 1-0.
“It put a big downer on the day and on the season for some of us,” said ‘Bridge boss Daz Ekin.
“The football was secondary after that.”
’Bridge thanked Shelley spectators Rob Simpson and Andrew Bartram and player Andrew Farrell for their first aid pitchside assistance.
Thompson has since left hospital.
A club statement read: “Boroughbridge AFC would like to send their very best wishes to Matt as he begins his recovery.
“He is in the thoughts of all at Aldborough Road at this time.”
Ekin added: “We played the last 20 minute but it wouldn’t have mattered if they only had six players left, there was nothing left in our lads.
“It came as a bit of a shock to some lads. It was a bit of an eye opener.
Thomo’s one of those tough kids though. He didn’t show any emotion until he got into the ambulance.”
Thompson had earlier missed a fine chance to put ‘Bridge ahead before the home side took the lead after half-time with a fine solo effort.
Ekin said: “It was going to take something like that to break the defences down. We certainly created the better of the chances.
“It took a very good goal to win it.”
The defeat left ‘Bridge sixth in the West Yorkshire Premier.
Defenders Andy Leighton and Danny Webster are missing for Saturday’s visit of East End Park.
Ben Mudd and Jimmy Tucknott should return.
Ekin said: “Looking at their results they are in and out.
“They have some good players so it’s going to be tough.
“The defence has been terrific so far so missing two members could be important.”
Boroughbridge’s Sunday side beat Wetherby Athletic 2-1.