Take it from me – using your head can be dangerous

Iwan Roberts goes up for a ball with Burnley's Steve Davis. Photo: Archant Library

Iwan Roberts goes up for a ball with Burnley's Steve Davis. Photo: Archant Library - Credit: Eastern Counties Newspapers

Ryan Mason suffered an horrendous fractured skull last Sunday after a shocking clash of heads with Gary Cahill – purely accidental on Gary's part I hasten to add.

We were all delighted earlier in the week to hear that Ryan had regained consciousness and was talking – let's all now hope that he can fully recover from it and carry on with his career.

Over the years I've suffered quite a few blows to my head, the nature of the way I played I guess. As we all know, heading the ball is such an important part of the game and it was probably the most important part of my game as I wasn't too bad at it.

I was knocked unconscious in one game at Carrow Road – I was out before I hit the ground, but having received a bit of treatment and had the old smelling salts stuck up my nose I returned to finish the game.

However, after the game had finished I couldn't remember a thing about events leading up to the game that day nor could I remember anything that had happened in the game. I didn't even remember what the score was.

I was at Wolves when Don Goodman was recovering from a fractured skull – in fact, I think the reason Wolves came in for me was because Don was going to miss a big chunk of the season with the injury and they needed someone to partner Stevie Bull in his absence.

I remember talking to Don about his injury and he said it's the scariest thing that's ever happened to him on a football field, and to be fair to Don he suffered a few bad injuries.

Most Read

Don was out of the game for about 12 months and was on all sorts of medication; the amount of tablets he had to take daily was scary. I'm surprised you didn't hear him rattling when he was running.

After about seven or eight months he was allowed to join in with the rest of us for training but as you can imagine he wasn't allowed to head the ball, for obvious reasons, and the rest of us had to be really careful whenever we got close to Don just in case we accidentally caught him.

It was a massive test mentally for Don when he was eventually given the all-clear to finally use his head and I can only imagine how scared he must have been heading that ball for the first time – but thankfully he came through it and went on to play for a few more years.

n Wolves keeper Carl Ikeme couldn't have any complaints with his red card after his reaction towards Wes Hoolahan.

It was an offence which won the penalty that Robbie Brady converted to give Norwich a lead they would hold on and win a valuable three points.

Some people thought Wes went down a bit too easily, but having seen the incident I don't agree. Once a goalkeeper comes rushing out like Ikeme did, he simply has to make sure he gets a touch on the ball. If he doesn't and the player falls then he's running a very high risk of giving away a penalty, whether it's the slightest of contacts with the player or not.

Paul Lambert and his Wolves players couldn't have too many complaints about the decision as they had been given a softer penalty that brought them level on the day.

n Birmingham were the first team to beat Norwich this season when they humiliated the Canaries 3-0 at St Andrews back at the end of August.

The lads really owe Birmingham one tomorrow afternoon and if they can manage to win the game that will mean three wins in their last four league games and just maybe the team are back on track to close the gap between themselves and the clubs that currently occupy the play-off positions.