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The long road back for Barnsley's Iain Hume

Paul Fletcher | 14:50 UK time, Thursday, 5 November 2009

Tucked away inside a large drawer in Iain Hume's bedroom is a selection of the thousands of cards and letters that he was sent last year as he recovered from surgery on a fractured skull.

"They really helped. They made me realise that people actually cared about me as a human being," the Barnsley striker told me.

"It wasn't just someone going down the pub and asking their mates whether they saw television pictures of me getting injured."

There is little doubt that plenty of people did discuss the incident that took place at Oakwell on 8 November last year. Replays of it were shown over and over again on television.

Sheffield United defender Chris Morgan had caught Hume with an elbow as a long ball came over the top. The Tykes striker went down in a heap and was subsequently substituted but was well enough to go home after the match.

Iain Hume

The following day, however, Hume says he was talking gibberish. Not that he remembers - the day has been pieced together for him by his wife and father-in-law. He was taken to hospital by his wife and within hours had undergone major emergency surgery. Hume remarked a few weeks afterwards that he could have died and he has an 18-inch scar as a permanent reminder of what happened to him.

The incident remains extremely controversial - specifically the issue of intent. Morgan was booked but the Football Association opted against taking further action. Blades boss Kevin Blackwell quickly launched a defence of his skipper's character. A civil case means that Hume cannot talk directly about Morgan.

It will be a year on Sunday since the incident took place and in one of those quirks of the fixture calendar Barnsley play Sheffield United in a televised match the following day.

"It is a big game on TV and I want to show that a lot has changed over the past year and that I am back playing to the level that I was," Hume told me.

In other words, for the 26-year-old the game is just another of the hurdles he has had to negotiate on his road to recovery.

Hume might be a softly-spoken individual but what is clear from discussing the past 12 months with the Scottish-born Canada international is that there has never been any doubt in his mind that he would return to playing.

"Some people said that they did not know whether I would ever be back - that might have driven me on a bit harder," said Hume.

The first few months after the operation were extremely tedious for Hume. He listened to the surgeon's instructions and basically did nothing.

"I was told that for the first six weeks I had to take it very easy - ensure that I did not raise the blood pressure," added Hume.

"For a professional sportsman that was a hard thing to do. After the first couple of weeks I was able to take my daughter to school with my wife. I would return home and sit around before picking her up from school. I'd then get home and sit around some more."

He had already watched every episode of Prison Break and ended up watching lots of soap operas, but the sitting around was becoming increasingly difficult for Hume to deal with.

"It was quite tedious and started getting under my skin," he said.

A few days after Christmas, Hume went out for his first jog. He felt rusty and stiff but said it was great to be doing something active.

Fast forward to the end of March and Hume headed a football for the time since the injury.

It was a five-versus-two keep-ball session and Hume found himself among the two players trying to win possession. He wasn't really supposed to head the ball but when Anderson da Silva cheekily tried to chip it over him he did what came naturally.

"Anderson stopped and looked at me," said Hume. "He said 'what the hell are you doing?'. I thought the same thing but there was no pain and it was a relief."

By the end of April the Tykes striker was training normally with the rest of his team-mates and there seemed to be no doubt that he would realise his ambition of playing again.

But last season was difficult at Barnsley for many different reasons - one of them being the form of the first team.

The Tykes were battling against the drop from the Championship and faced a crucial final-day match at Plymouth with relegation a real possibility.

Hume told then-manager Simon Davey that he wanted to be considered for selection even though there were insurance implications as various medical assessments had not been carried out.

Davey opted against selecting Hume but Barnsley got the win they needed to guarantee their Championship status.

Hume had an extra two months to continue to build his fitness and finally made his return in a pre-season friendly at Gainsborough, coming on as a substitute shortly after half-time.

Barnsley had a free-kick in a wide position and Hume's first touch was a header that almost went in. The contact was made with the scarred side of his head.

"I knew a couple of the Gainsborough lads and it shocked them that I'd gone up to head the ball but I'd been doing in training for ages," said Hume.

His first meaningful goal came from the penalty spot in a 3-1 win over West Brom on 29 September.

"It had been a long time coming - I had a longer wait that most strikers between goals," added Hume.

"I was pleased because it helped us beat one of the top teams in the league but there was quite a lot of emotion after I'd been out for so long."

Hume talks warmly about the help and support he received from his family during his recovery. His affection and gratitude towards them is obvious.

He has also been moved by the reception he has received from supporters at all the grounds he has been to this season. Hume describes it as a humbling experience.

Kevin Nolan of Newcastle (left) and Sheffield United's Chris Morgan Morgan (right) picked up a booking against Newcastle on Monday

He cannot say whether he has had any contact with Morgan but what is now certain is that the two men will not come face to face on Monday.

Morgan picked up a yellow card playing against Newcastle in Sheffield United's last match and will now be suspended for the game against the Tykes.

I spoke to Hume before Morgan had been ruled out of the encounter and the Canadian certainly did not sound worried about coming up against him.

"To be honest I am really looking forward to it," added Hume.

"There will be a lot of people hyping up the game no end but I cannot go in there with a vendetta."

Hume has watched the incident that led to his injury on television but he has not dreamt about it or had any flashbacks. In conversation it seems as though Hume really has moved on.

His entire focus is on nailing down a regular first-team spot and scoring plenty of goals. I guess it all ties in with a new ambition that the striker has.

"I would like to be thought of as a footballer and a goalscorer rather than somebody who had brain surgery," he said.

And that, more than anything else, is why he is desperate to score against the Blades.

You can follow me throughout the season at


  • Comment number 1.

    "Hume remarked a few weeks afterwards that he could of died "

    No, he could've died.

    Aside from that Hume is a model professional and was desperately unlucky to have this happen to him. Moran's actions may not have been intended but they were negligent to say the least. I don't believe Hume would have anything to prove by scoring against the Blades, what he has done to be able to return speaks for itself. I wouldn't mind a last minute winner though.

  • Comment number 2.

    What a great story to read.

    A little disappointed Morgan is now suspended as it not only would've made for a slightly more charged atmosphere, it would have also been a full completion of the rehab process i feel.

    on another note, I do wonder why people feel the need to correct language errors so often. All languages are essentially corruptions of previous vernaculars so it seems petty to point out any one error when the rules of vocabulary are not so strict.

    anyway, looking forward to next weeks blog.


  • Comment number 3.

    Because he's being paid for this.


  • Comment number 4.

    Look at the scar on Hume's head and tell me he didn't mean that. Correcting spelling is being a bit picky, navigating away from the fact that this is a great article. I presume you've never ever submitted a piece with incorrect spelling thought not!

  • Comment number 5.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 6.

    At 4:23pm on 05 Nov 2009, TheTomTyke wrote:

    "Moran's actions may not have been intended but they were negligent to say the least."

    Who is Moran?

    Those in glass houses my friend...........

  • Comment number 7.

    /4 Despite looking at the scar I fail to see how you can alledge that Morgan intended for that to happen. If Morgan intended to fracture Hume's skull it'd be a case of attempted murder. Morgan's actions were not intended to do that to Hume, rather Morgan simply didn't care if they did.

    Asides from the fact it's grammar not spelling, no, I have never been paid to submit a piece with incorrect spelling.

  • Comment number 8.

    /6 I'd have felt bead if I'd put the extra o. Un-PC and all that.

  • Comment number 9.

    Morgan's booking was a very cynical one. Done on purpose?

  • Comment number 10.

    I just watched the incident again on youtube and there is no doubt that Morgan intended to plant his elbow in Hume's face. Despite someone saying he never intended to break his skull, that irrelevant as I doubt anyone, unless they had a sick mind, goes to hurt someone in a challenge like that with that precise intention of the outcome we all witnessed.
    Either way he shoud have been banned for a long time if not worse.

    On a brighter note its good to see the lad playing again! Hope he scores at the weekend.

  • Comment number 11.

    I think it's a real shame that such a remarkable story has sparked a spelling competition. This is really inspiring stuff and should be shown more respect. I am sitting here in a full length cast from a broken leg, my second in two years both from football incidents. Neither incident was considered to have intent in other peoples eyes, but I would beg to differ, and while I haven't seen this Morgan clash, I would imagine the intent was there. Football's a dangerous game, we all know that and accept it, but I think the game is for some people an easy excuse for violent behavior. I hope to draw inspiration from this story and make it back on the field for a third time-I wish Iain the best of luck.

  • Comment number 12.

    Great post Fletch, it's always fantastic to see people taking a look back at a story which really threatened to get forgotten.

    The guardian had a similar article several weeks ago:

    Humey's really been excellent since he returned, and his work rate is second to none.

  • Comment number 13.

    Benjod2, I have a scar exactly the same as that on my head and wasn't involved in any violent incident whatsoever. It happened when I was 18 for no reason and took me a lot longer to get over than it did for Ian Hume by all accounts. I am now 26 hoewever and doing well but I still find this guy an inspiration. My point being however that the scar does not reflect intentions, if he had been caught in a slightly different place on his head he may not have gone through this, it was bad luck. However having seen the incident I do believe there was intention and agree that this player should have faced a much more severe charge. If the authorities are serious about stamping out the violence we have seen in the game, such as those scenes at Milwall vs West Ham, then they must take violent behaviouor on the pitch much more seriously first. These guys are role models to lots of young children and if they see players get away with this action then what message does that send to the next generation of footballers. I love the game but find myself increasingly dissilusioned by a lot of behaviours connected with it, no matter how beautiful it can be.

    Apologies if there's any spelling mistakes here, however, I'm not one getting paid for it am I? :o)

    eMaynard, good luck with the recovery chap, hope you're back to your best soon!!

    Does anyone think mybe Hume will appreciate the fact he is lucky to have such a career more now having faced quesitons of his own mortality? Do you think this willl make him work harder as a player?

  • Comment number 14.

    To the language pedant - there is no d in allege.

  • Comment number 15.

    I agree with eMaynard, that is precisely the point I was trying to make. Who reads a footbal article to then pass comment on the grammar, spelling and the like. As for Footywins in this case I am wholeheartedly prepared to say that in this specific case that scar does reflect the intentions of Mr Morgan, whilst I agree that he obviously had no idea the extent of damage that would occur he undeniably went out to injure Hume and that is the point. You mention role models, I think its remarkabe the speedy recovery that he has made and hats of to him for that.

  • Comment number 16.

    Anybody who's played the game at a decent level knows that a centre half will always be looking to inflict a bit of pain during the challenge with a striker, especially early in a game. 'Hard' but fair challenges are always demanded by managers. Morgans intent was to give Hume a good old 'Spanish archer' (el bow) to the mellon. However I doubt very much he intended to cause such bodily harm. Great to see a good Canadian kid bounce back.

  • Comment number 17.

    /14 A cursory glance at suggested otherwise, I failed to see the [obs.] next to the entry. My apologies.

    /15 Morgan did not set out to injure Hume. Centrebacks have always used their elbows in football and they always will. As I said before, if Morgan had intended to injure Hume then he'd be facing charges of attempted murder. What we have here is what in the US is called "reckless endangerment".

  • Comment number 18.

    I'm a leicester fan and although i was really annoyed when hume left for Barnsley of all places i still thought he was a great player for our club and i wish we still had him. I'm glad he's okay now and back playing again and i hope he does well this year except for when he plays against leicester. :D I also think Morgan should have been severely punished for this. He may not have intended to injure hume to the extent he did, he may not have intended to injure hume at all. Who knows, he may not have even intentionally tried to elbow him...but, he did! And even at it's most innocent, an accident, he should still be punished for it. Negligence, as previously mentioned, is punishible by law and internally in most, if not all, professions. Therefore, i believe that Morgan should have been dealt a severe ban at the very least by the FA.

    p.s Great article, i don't care about the spelling or grammar. I was able to read it perfectly. Moan about grammar when the article is unreadable.

  • Comment number 19.

    TheTomTyke - I'd better watch spelling, grammar everything. You've certainly stirred up the honeypot.

    I have to say that I was pretty impressed by Hume's focus and drive when I spoke to him. He struck me as being a real pragmatist and somebody who was able to move on very quickly from what happened and focus on playing again.

    I'm sure that everyone wishes Iain well with the rest of his career and I hope that he is able to fulfill his ambition of being known as a goalscorer rather than someone who had a serious injury.

  • Comment number 20.

    great article!!!!

    welcome back humey,looking really good out there.

    Now lets talk about intent, if you have seen this video, you can obviously see intent. Iain was on the ground about 2 seconds before the ball even got there. He should have recieved a lengthy ban for that challenge. Chris Morgan went in there, with the intent to injure Hume, why else would he have elbowed a kid half his size to the head. In the NHL a kid got hit from behind last week and is fighting for his life in hospital now with a similar head injury. The kid that did it recieved a season long ban for the hit. I feel all major sports should follow suit when it comes to head injuries. especially when intentional. they give i believe 12 to 24 hours when there is internal bleeding in your skull, Humey was very lucky. best of luck iain.

    it's one thing to defend with your elbows, it another to leave someone defenceless with your elbows

  • Comment number 21.

    Fantastic piece. Humey odds on to score on monday COME ON YOU REDS!
    As for the debate, well we at Barnsley loved Morgan "the no-nonsense centre half" for a lot of years when he was in our red shirt.
    He's lost a lot of that love now due to an incident that unfortunatley happens now and again in football
    All the best IAIN HUME
    Feel free to correct my speeling if you've nowt better to be doing!
    Bring on the dee daa's

  • Comment number 22.

    FootyWins (comment 13), it'd be impossible for Humey to work any harder than he always has as a professional footballer. We Canadians have always appreciated his hard work and dedication to the cause whenever he's worn the Maple Leaf (either on his chest, or shaved into his hair). We are proud of the way he's responded to this injury as we've always been proud of him.

    As for Chris Morgan, he is a man with non-league football ability who has managed to carve out a career at a higher-than-deserved level purely out of his willingness to engage in the kinds of brutal acts that nearly resulted in Iain's death. As long as old-fashioned British fans applaud his type as 'honest professionals' rather than the malicious thugs that they truly are, than you will never be able to truly move the game forward. Whether he specifically intended to fracture Iain's skull or not is up for debate. The fact that he intended to inflict a great deal of pain on Iain to mask his inadequacies as a professional footballer are beyond question. He's a disgrace to the sport and the species.

  • Comment number 23.

    Nice to see Ian back playing, I personally didn't think he'd play again. Now make sure you beat United on Monday :)

  • Comment number 24.

    Let's get some perspective. I can't justify Chris Morgan throwing out an elbow. HOWEVER can Iain Hume justify the elbow HE threw out when playing against Scunthorpe? Hume and Morgan were at it all game. Morgan, foolishly lost his rag and threw his arm out. This happens every other game - it is the action no the injury Morgan should be punished for.

    ALSO in response to the previous poster who claimed that Humes scar is evidence that Morgan meant to do so much damage is ridiculous. How many elbows are thrown without a skull fracturing?

    Paul Flecther, you have further incited a witch-hunt against Morgan's character. But let me remind you that Chris went straight into the Barnsley dressing room to see how Iain was. Chris is normally a great role model as club captain and takes pride in his duties of visiting schools:,,10418%7E1707512,00.html.

    Maybe the BBC should do a piece from Morgan's angle before sitting back while the ill-informed attack his character. Yes Chris SHOULD have been sent off, no doubt. I also believe he should have been handed a 6 game ban and a fine. HOWEVER, when MP's get involved and civil cases are brought up it gets ridiculous.

    For the record, good luck in your continued recovery Iain.

  • Comment number 25.

    It is likely Morgan did not intend to fracture Hume's skull nearly killing him. However, for an attempted murder charge I'm reasonably sure all you need to do is prove he intended to hurt him in some way (an intentional elbow could be thought of in this way).

    The criminal charges perhaps may not be involved because proving intent of any kind is hard when taking part in contact sports. However, level of proof required to sue some (civil cases) is much less.

    If someone is charge or not (criminal case) is never a black and white analysis of if the incident was with or without intent.

  • Comment number 26.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 27.

    Couple of points

    1) The surgeon caused the scar, not Morgan. Comments about the scar proving what a horrendous assault it was make it sound like Morgan took a stanley knife to him.

    2) Hume could've died because of an infection he picked up in hospital. It wasn't because he was struck with such great force by Morgan.

    Barnsley FC have done a great job of smearing Morgan's name. This was a run of the mill challenge in a game where both sides were at it throughout - there were headbutts as well don't forget. A shame that Hume underwent complications but people shouldn't get carried away in their desire for a witchhunt.

  • Comment number 28.

    Hume is a ledge, we love him down Leicester and am so happy to see him finalyl bouncing back!

  • Comment number 29.

    sufccw - hold on a minute. I think you are bang out of order suggesting that I have incited a witch-hunt against Morgan.

    At what point do I suggest that Morgan deliberately tried to injure Hume, let alone that he tried to seriously hurt him?

    My piece is about Hume's recovery - the 12 months since he sustained the injury. The fact that Barnsley are playing the Blades on Monday is nothing to do with me. I didn't choose the game to be broadcast live on television. I'm not trying to 'hype it up'. I just think that Hume's is a good human interest story.

    However, I very much take your point that Morgan's story has yet to be fully told. Legal reasons prevent discussion of the incident but I wonder what Morgan is like as a person? How he feels about the incident and the impact it has had on how people think about him both as a person and a footballer? It is a story I would like to tackle at some point this season.

  • Comment number 30.

    Yes that is an extremely balanced and fair story Fletch congratulations. And will you and all the other lazy journos who have stoked this fire for a year be there keeping dingle fans off the pitch on Monday night? Or will you be there controlling the crowds outside. After all you have all been responsible for winding up the public of Barnsley for a year.

    In the world of Man U v Chelsea or Liverpool v Arsenal you cant get away with writing such provocative garbage so its done for games like this because you know they wont speak to the BBC if you do. Did you write scathing pieces on Shearer after 'that' kick? On Gerrard after his numerous horrific challenges? Bergkamp after his stamps? NO? thought not.

    I bet you write a nice long article about what a bunch of thugs South Yorkshire football fans are after the trouble that, thanks to people like you and in some part Barnsley FC, there will inevitably be on Monday night.

    I hope, and imagine you are, feeling pretty smug with yourself.

  • Comment number 31.

    As a Tranmere fan I just wanted to pass on my best wishes to Iain and sincerely hope he can return to the game with the spirit and enthusiasm he gave to Rovers.

    Some friends met Iain earlier this year at the theatre and were moved to tears when they saw the scars he has.

    Good luck Iain

  • Comment number 32.

    #24 SUFC - what garbage

    "it is the action no the injury Morgan should be punished for"

    So if a drunk driver crashes and kills a group of people in another car he should be punished the same as a drunk driver who crashes into a lamppost injuring nobody?

    If a player elbows another and seriously injures them then they have to face the consequences. Its all very well having 'hard men' in the game, making crunching tackles etc, its very British and we seem to love them, but elbowing somebody when they don't expect it is pure cowardness and nothing to do with football.

  • Comment number 33.

    Barnsley FC have done a great job of smearing Morgan's name. This was a run of the mill challenge in a game where both sides were at it throughout - there were headbutts as well don't forget. A shame that Hume underwent complications but people shouldn't get carried away in their desire for a witchhunt.

    when have Barnsley FC done a witch hunt?

    and as for the headbutts, your player got sent off for that.

    The treatment of this incident by the Fa and Police has been shocking, Morgan is a disgrace and should be banned for life. He has brought shame onthe Blunts and his family,

  • Comment number 34.

    @32 BognorRock

    Why shouldn't someone who is drunk driving and crashes in to a lamp post get the same punishment as someone who kills a car full of people? Sounds sensible to me. They should be banned for driving for life and get a lengthy imprisonment.

    Regardless of the damage actually done, criminalistic drivers should all be punished for the potential damage.

  • Comment number 35.

    also, Morgan's deliberate booking on monday shows what a coward he really is.

  • Comment number 36.

    24 sufc

    you say 'Hume and Morgan were at it all game' no Morgan was at it and should have sent off before this one. Hume was begging the ref for protection. Only on that morning Brian howard said on Scocer Am that Blackwell told your players to use elbows againt wednesday in the previous game.

  • Comment number 37.


    I'd love you to say Chris Morgans a coward to his face pal

    I for one can't wait till Monday night, few beers in Dingle Country throughout the day then to Oakwell to sing Chris Morgans name for 90 minutes.


  • Comment number 38.

    I have told him what a ***** is of numerous times in ASDA,

    Going To Burnley (Dingle Country) and sining Chris Morgan very very strange?

  • Comment number 39.

    I love people like rob. Uninformed and unknowledgeable and yet still allowed to say what they like. Makes you feel proud to live in a democracy...

  • Comment number 40.

    Rob, take it you never log onto Since the incident Barnsley have run numerous stories (completely unrelated to your club) about Morgan and SUFC. Is this normal or was it part of a bigger witch-hunt?

    I know Davey was desperately trying to cover up his own incompetence but did he really need to mention it in every single interview for months and months? Patrick Cryne has showed no class either.

    Did you hear Morgan bleating like a girl when Lee McCulloch caved his face in with a far more blatant attack? No, he simply got on with it and shrugged it off as one of those things.

    I can understand that your fans feel bitter towards Morgan but he wasn't the first player to move to a bigger club to further his career and he won't be the last.

    I'm not sure which of your comments is most far fetched - Morgan bottling the game or Morgan shopping in Asda. Fanciful nonsense.

    Get a grip lad, dingles aren't meant to be melodramatic cry babies.

  • Comment number 41.

    Paul, sure you must have known that this article would have generated a tonne of responses about 'what a coward chris morgan' is etc? Simply because the 606 boards at the time descended into bickering between Sheff Utd and Barnsley fans. Both equally biased yet at other sides of the fence.

    AT "BOGNOR ROCK" "So if a drunk driver crashes and kills a group of people in another car he should be punished the same as a drunk driver who crashes into a lamppost injuring nobody?"

    How can you compare a sportsman lashing out to a drunk driver?

    What i mean by the action not the injury is the fact that morgan should have had a red card for use of an elbow - which i clearly stated. When it gets to civil cases a year down the line it gets ridiculous.

    Morgan a coward? Didnt see him complaining when lee mculloch punched him in the face against wigan in 2006/07. Chris' eye was closed tight and in his interview he just stated "he came in after we shook hands, it's part of the game".

    If you want to a comparible case look at the Mendes/Thatcher incident. Mendes suffered a seizure froma malicous blow from thatcher who ran and threw a forearm into him. Did Mendes sue? No he didn't.

    We all agree that Morgans actions on the day were out of order. What i dont agree with is the flack Morgan has suffered over an incident where he lost his cool and threw and arm out? Should every footballer who throws a punch, headbutt or elbow be sued?

    If hume makes a successful civil claim it sets a dangerous precedent.

    The Blades should have suspended morgan immediately and fined him, but this is a matter for the clubs and the FA. Not the courts.

  • Comment number 42.

    Sheff U fans still won`t have it. What a bunch of Wet W***ks!
    The FA should have taken action but they`re another bunch of Wet W***ks.

  • Comment number 43.

    rafa how am I uninformed?

  • Comment number 44.


    What a shame that people still have to put up with you.

  • Comment number 45.

    @ 41 - My point about the drunk driver was simply that people should take responsibility for their actions. Its a stupid argument saying that Morgan should get away with elbowing Hume because usually an elbow doesn't cause serious injury. When someone drink drives, most of the time they won't kill someone, but that doesn't mean they shouldn't be sererely punished the one time they do.

    If you don't want to hurt someone, don't throw an elbow. If you do and seriously injure someone, you should be man enough to face up to it.

  • Comment number 46.

    Two things have annoyed me about these responses.

    1. Anyone who watches that incident again on YouTube would have to be insane to say it wasn't premeditated. Yes, Morgan is watching the ball; but his feet are planted on the pitch, he does not jump...and that is when a player uses his elbows to gain height. Hume is on his way to the ground before Morgan even heads the ball. I believe the only reason Morgan went to the dressing room was out of the realisation he'd done something disgusting without thinking of the consequences, and was worried more for himself and his career.

    2. To suggest Fletch is stirrring things up is a disgrace. I know the guy personally, and you couldn't meet a more mild-mannered chap without an ounce of malice. As he defends himself, the article is simply about Hume's recovery and continuation of a career that was nearly in tatters due to the action of a thug.

    I do agree on Fletch getting picked up for the sloppy grammar, though. I suggest either his wages are docked, or it's his round next time I see him.

  • Comment number 47.

    "Should every footballer who throws a punch, headbutt or elbow be sued?

    If hume makes a successful civil claim it sets a dangerous precedent."

    What? I think in all honesty you are completely wrong. The reason sport has gone for so long not applying the same stricture of law as the rest of society is the difficulty of proving intent versus accident. That doesn't mean ANY sportsman is above the law.

    I don't believe any footballer throwing a punch/elbow or headbutting should be sued - I believe they should be charged with assault, ABH or GBH depending on the malice of their actions and the resultant injury. For too long we've had fully grown men attacking each other in the public arena. Does no-one realise bans and fines don't work? THAT was the dangerous precedent, set years ago. "Go on, punch someone. You'll spend a month on the sidelines, and you'll still get paid." In what other profession would this occur?

    I don't see a huge amount of difference between what Chris Morgan did and what Marlon King did to that girl. How can environment - football pitch instead of nightclub - or victim - fellow football player instead of young girl - invoke such wildly differing punishments?

    Please note I am not saying Morgan intended to fracture Hume's skull, that's ludicrous. He did intend to strike him with his arm, however, and he also intended some level of harm. When those are your intentions, the level of success denotes the measure of your punishment - for an example, look at the ban given to Axel Witsel for his leg-breaking tackle on Marcin Wasilewski. He's been banned for 8 matches for a style of tackle I see quite regularly in the Premier League; the severity of the outcome has determined the extent of the corrective measure.

    The fact that Morgan is only facing a civil case makes him quite fortunate, really. He could have faced a lengthy ban from football, a fine from the FA for bringing the game into disrepute, a suspension and fine from his club and a charge of GBH (resulting in jail time, which might have led to his club sacking him) as well as a compensation claim from Hume. That he only has to face one - and lets face it, the least harsh element of all - is to the detriment of the fact that this is a game, our national game no less, and as such should be played in a fair and sporting manner.

  • Comment number 48.

    Call me naive but I really did not want this article to spark off a load of tit-for-tat between Barnsley and Sheffield United fans.

    I wanted to tell the story of a human being battling back to fitness, about a footballer trying to return to the field of play so that he can continue his profession. I wanted to detail the key moments over the last 12 months, the low moments and the events that confirmed Hume's belief that he would play again.

    It will be exactly a year on Sunday since Hume was injured and I thought this would be a good time to tell his story.

  • Comment number 49.

    I have read all the previous posts and thought i'd take a fresh look at the challenge itself. I remember at the time thinking that it was an awful challenge and having just reviewed it on youtube have to say that remains my opinion. We can go to the traditional centre half/centre forward opinion of using your arms when jumping and gives that extra bit of lift or momentum to attack the ball and that in most cases is understandable...but if you look at it again I dont beleive that was Morgan's intention as his feet dont leave the ground so he wasnt swinging his arm for momentum. It looks what it is an awful challenge and one that should have been punished by his own club or the FA. This isn't Blade bashing or Tykes favouritism its just a football fan expressing an opinion. If I saw any player suffer a challenge like that I would hope that the offending player would receive a lengthy ban. I guess only Morgan knows whether he meant it or not and if he did he has to live with that.
    On a positive note no matter who you are and who you support when you see a player suffer that sort of injury you just have to applaud them for getting back in there.

  • Comment number 50.


    "this is a matter for the clubs and the FA. Not the courts."

    Like the Tevez affair? How did that turn out for you?



    I'd love you to say Chris Morgans a coward to his face pal

    I for one can't wait till Monday night, few beers in Dingle Country throughout the day then to Oakwell to sing Chris Morgans name for 90 minutes."

    Does the red and white third of Sheffield not have even a single ounce of class?

  • Comment number 51.

    @ #37 Blade71984

    Why what would Morgan do? Wait til his back was turned then drop an elbow on his head? What a "hard man"!

  • Comment number 52.

    Sorry Paul, I only intended to mention the error and then move on to the football.

    Your comment about how Morgan feels as a person is an interesting one. As I've already said, I don't believe he intended to do Hume any real damaage. It was a clumsy challenge but clumsy challenges are a part of foorball. From my perspective as a Barnsley fan Morgan was playing in a local derby against his former club, a town in which he still lives. I doubt Morgan wanted to hurt Hume, just play with a level of physicality befitting such a scenario. A physicality that we Barnsley fans had no problem with when he was playing for us. Morgan has been vilified by many Barnsley fans because they believe he intentionally set out to do it. Whilst I can understand that position, I disagree.

    What I do believe however is that Morgan's actions were negligent. By sticking his arm out he exhibited a lack of professionalism, the F.A.'s respect the ref was criticised by MPs after the incident because why should players respect the referee when there's no respect for your opponent? I'd suggest the FA should introduce a charge of "reckless play" which can be brought after the game. Similar to what Steve Clarige suggested on the Football League show this week.

    On Hume's actual recovery with no disrespect I don't actually find it all that remarkable. I'm sure that being the professional he is there was no way Hume would not have made a return, unless doctors had told him he could not. It's a shame Morgan didn't show the same sort of professionalism when he went in with the elbow.

  • Comment number 53.

    @ becauseofboxingday. Red and white THIRD of Sheffield? I think
    attendances at both grounds show that isnt the case.

    The reason the fans will sing morgans name is in defence of our captain who has been made publicy enemy number because he threw an elbow out after he and hume and nibbled each other all game

    As for halfa**ed reply about the tevez affair - I thoght it was an absolute joke how McCabe pursued the matter. I still think west ham should have had 3 points off first time but at the end of the day united went down because we had a pathetic away record and hardly registered any points after the new year.

    If your going to bring the tevez affair and talk about club sizes you might as well bang on about winning the mickey mouse cup and beering in europe about 15 years ago as well. Fool.

  • Comment number 54.

    I do not believe that Morgan ever deliberately went to foul Ian Hume. People forget the years that he was a Barnsley player and he gave 100 per cent in every game. He is not the most skilful of players but makes up for the lack of skills in his endeavour, the same as he did at Barnsley. I do not believe there was intent and the scale of the injury was unfortunate. As for the lenghth of the scar surely this was a result of the operation to relieve the swelling on the brain. Lets let sleeping dogs lie, there are enough excuses for some fans to cause trouble at games without the provocation of continuing this argument.

  • Comment number 55.

    Congratulations Iain. It's great to hear about your recovery and I'm sure this will give hope to everyone battling back from head injuries. It just shows you can never be too careful after a head knock - always get it checked out at hospital.

    You were my favourite Leicester player during your time at the club, and I sincerely hope that this season marks a return to your top form - apart from on January 26th when we play you!

    Best of luck, tonight and for the rest of the season.

  • Comment number 56.

    Tom The Tyke, - Before you go ripping other peoples spelling to pieces - Make sure you are spot on with yours my friend.

    Who is Moran's ? - I'm sure you meant Morgan's


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