A talented young footballer from Morley has been hailed as a “medical miracle” after making huge strides towards recovery since he was crunched by a horror tackle.
Jamie Underdown damaged three of the four ligaments in his knee during a semi-professional match playing for Thackley FC against Hemsworth Miners Welfare in November.
The 20-year-old ex-Bradford City academy star was told he may never play football again and faced months – or even years – of physiotherapy and procedures before he could eventually walk without pain.
However, doctors were so stunned by the success of his latest operation that they have now said he may be able to make it back to the football pitch in the future.
Mr Underdown said: “It has been very overwhelming and emotional because obviously I had been told that it was a total write-off and I would never be able to play again. Now I have been told that there’s a small chance I could do what I want to do again in the future.”
Left writhing in pain, the crunch of the horrific tackle that threatened his sporting passion has haunted him for the last six months. Doctors told the semi-professional footballer it was unlikely he would ever play on the pitch again – and he faced the prospect of at least the next year in a wheelchair.
But after undergoing a second operation to repair his knee earlier this year, consultants have told him they are baffled by the speed of his recovery.
His mum, Sarah Underdown, said it means there is now a possibility that Jamie will not only walk again in the future, but he could be back on the pitch playing the sport he loves.
Miss Underdown said: “The exact words of the doctors before his second operation were, ‘Jamie, this is a serious injury and you will be very lucky to walk without pain again and if you ever play football it won’t be the same standard.’
“And now they are saying that might be possible.”
A charity football match is being organised to raise money to pay for a new assisted weights bench, to help with his physiotherapy.
Wilsden and Thornton Bantams will take on AFA Charity FC, in a special fixture featuring fans, ex-professional and TV soap players, at Dixons Allerton Academy in Bradford, on April 22, from 3pm.