Being able to walk and carry my daughters is the most important thing. Ex-Norwich City starlet forced to quit after horror injury
- Credit: Jed Wee/Sportsbeat Images
Former Norwich City academy prospect Damon Lathrope is determined to carve out a second career in football after a broken leg injury left him with life changing complications.
The 28-year-old suffered the horrific injury last month playing for Woking during a 0-0 National League draw against Boreham Wood.
The one-time City starlet has since undergone a series of operations to ensure he can walk again, after damaging major arteries and veins.
A fund-raising page has been set up to help Lathrope and his young family, with wife Jade expecting their second child in the summer.
Lathrope never made a senior appearance at Carrow Road, despite earning a professional deal under Glenn Roeder, before moving on to Torquay in 2010.
'The over-riding factor for me was I was lucky enough to be under the care of Mr Tahir Ali, who has enabled the opportunity for me to carry my daughters, when there was a time that I may not have been able to walk again,' he said, in a statement on Woking's official site.
'This is the most important thing to me. I don't want people to feel sorry for me but be thankful that I have both legs to walk on.
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'I'm extremely proud of my professional football career and wouldn't have changed or done anything different. I have made my family extremely proud and this makes me very happy.
'I have no regrets but the facts are that this injury will overall end my playing career, I will continue to move forward to the future and have a career in another area of football, off the field, maybe helping to develop players.
'I know I have a lot to offer to the game in other ways than me physically being on the pitch.
'I'm really disappointed that I didn't get to fulfil what I had planned at Woking as a player.
'It's such a good set up and the plan looked great. I'm going to bring and offer as much to the club in any aspect that I can.
'I understand it's going to be a long journey ahead for me to get back on my feet, but just to have this opportunity is enough for me.
'My family and I can't thank the club enough for all of their support since the accident.'
Woking have pledged to honour Lathrope's contract and make sure he remains part of the club when he leaves hospital to begin the next phase of his recovery.
The midfielder had only joined Woking from Torquay in January for an undisclosed fee, after signing an 18-month deal following a second spell with the Gulls.
Lathrope also played for Hereford and Aldershot in his career after leaving the Canaries.
Click HERE to leave a message of support or pledge a donation to Damon.