Teenage goalkeeper airlifted after serious head injury during match
A teenager has been airlifted to hospital after sustaining a head injury during a soccer match in Co Galway.
The 18-year-old goalkeeper from Ballymoe FC was injured inside the penalty area during a match against Boyle Celtic yesterday afternoon.
It is thought that he suffered a fractured jaw and number of broken teeth.
Paramedics who attended the teenager believe he also suffered a concussion.
Before the first-half ended it is understood the young man was helping his teammates to clear the ball as members of the opposition began to close in following a free kick.
It was at this stage that a player accidentally struck him.
A number of other players also received minor injuries during the incident.
The match was then immediately called to a halt as members of both sides offered their assistance.
Paramedics arrived on the scene shortly after the incident, but determined the youth should be airlifted via air ambulance to University Hospital Galway.
Ballymoe FC chairman Tommy Shaughnessy described the incident as a "total accident".
"When the free kick was taken the ball went into the box and a crowd of players just ran for it," he told the Irish Independent last night.
"I don't think anyone was really paying attention to what was around them as they all collided into each other.
"Unfortunately, the goalkeeper came out the worst.
"He got a bang in the face and just fell down."
Mr Shaughnessy added that he has seen "a lot worse" at football matches.
"We're waiting to hear word back from the hospital, but I don't think he's in a very bad way.
"He was fully conscious when the ambulance arrived and I'm sure this young lad will bounce back in no time," he added.
Secretary of Boyle Celtic Richard Kennedy offered his best wishes for a quick recovery to the injured goalkeeper.
"We're all very sorry to hear what happened to this young man.
"[The club] would like to offer their sincerest sympathies and support to him and everyone at Ballymoe.
"We wish him a speedy recovery."
The Roscommon-based club also reported on the accident via Twitter.
"The Ballymoe keeper who was injured earlier has been assessed by the doctor and the air ambulance is required to take him to hospital. Play is stopped for it to land.
"Obviously a very worrying injury. He's a young man of only 18 years old."
The match resumed after the air ambulance flew off, with Boyle winning 4-2.