Holt full-back is alive and kicking after horrific crash

Michael Humberstone (second right) in action for Holt. Picture: Stuart Young

Michael Humberstone (second right) in action for Holt. Picture: Stuart Young - Credit: Stuart Young

There will be few sportsman as grateful to be running out for their team tomorrow as Holt RFC's Michael Humberstone.

Michael Humberstone (left) in action for Holt. Picture: Stuart Young

Michael Humberstone (left) in action for Holt. Picture: Stuart Young - Credit: Stuart Young

That is because two years ago this month the 24-year-old nearly lost his life in a car crash.

The Holt full-back lost a dangerous amount of blood and was in intensive care following the crash – but has now completed a miraculous recovery.

Humberstone has been playing for the north Norfolk club since he was five years old and after beginning his comeback last season when playing for the club's second XV, he is now back in the first-team fold at High Kelling.

'I was in a car crash after doing a night shift and I managed to pretty much find the biggest tree in Norfolk,' Humberstone said of his October 2012 car crash when driving home to Holt from his job at waste management company Enviroco, in North Walsham,

Michael Humberstone (left) in action for Holt. Picture: Stuart Young

Michael Humberstone (left) in action for Holt. Picture: Stuart Young - Credit: Stuart Young


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'The doctors said if I had lost another half a pint of blood, I would have bled out. I was just lucky really.

'It must have been about midnight and I was driving through Skeyton and I went round a nasty bend on a foggy night and smashed myself up.

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'I remember I managed to get myself out of the passenger door but I didn't know my eye was hanging out, my nose was out, my jaw was out.

'I managed to ring for an ambulance and a paramedic turned up within half an hour and gave me some morphine. I eventually ended up in intensive care for seven or eight days.

'I've got chronic damage to my right eye but it is working fine now and I broke three arteries in my head, so it was quite a severe impact.

'I was actually released on the day but then I was at my grandad's and coughed and the blood just started pouring and I went back.'

Playing rugby would probably be the last thing on the mind of most people following such a traumatic experience. Humberstone clearly isn't like most people though.

'Within five weeks I was training and jogging again but it took a long, long time to get fit,' he continued. 'I weighed 15 stone before the crash and went down to 11 and a half stone. I'm six-foot-two so that was quite a shock to the system!

'Looking back, it was a bit silly, but I thought if I didn't get back in a car or get back playing rugby, then I'd be too scared to.'

And back to playing rugby he is, right back into the thick of things in London Two North East with Holt.

An emphatic 30-0 win at Braintree on the opening day has been followed by a 35-23 home loss against local rivals Norwich and a 27-12 defeat at Campion.

After a 33-22 loss at home against Saffron Walden last weekend, Holt travel to Essex tomorrow to take on Old Cooperians, who were thumped 64-29 at Diss last weekend.

Have you got a rugby story? Contact sports reporter David Freezer on 01603 772418 or david.freezer@archant.co.uk

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