Cox proud of Poppies after 'serious incident' with goalkeeper Wood

An inter-club friendly at Kettering Town had to be halted after a Jacob Wood suffered a serious head injury

Wednesday, 21st July 2021, 9:08 am
Kettering Town physio Rachel Birks has been praised for her actions after goalkeeper Jacob Wood suffered a serious head injury in an inter-club friendly at Latimer Park. Picture by Peter Short

Paul Cox was left heartened by the way everyone, especially physio Rachel Birks, dealt with a “very serious incident” during Kettering Town’s pre-season workout at Latimer Park last night (Tuesday).

The Poppies’ initial friendly clash with Brackley Town was called off due to a Covid-19 case in the Saints camp but Kettering still opened their doors to fans for free as they played out an inter-club friendly.

However, the match was halted when goalkeeper Jacob Wood suffered a serious head injury.

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He was treated by Birks and other staff members on the pitch and was later taken to hospital for tests with Cox, this morning, reporting that the stopper seems to be recovering.

Nonetheless, the Poppies boss admitted it was “a worrying time” but he was highly impressed with the way the club dealt with it.

“It was surreal, I certainly don’t want to experience many more evenings like that because it was really worrying,” Cox said.

“Initially and certainly up until this morning (Wednesday), it was a very serious incident and there were young people in the ground who were quite close by who we needed to protect.

“I am just really proud of the club. From my staff, especially my medical staff, to the supporters who understood the situation and vacated the area, I thought the whole club showed itself in a good light.

“For me, it felt like there was a growth in our club because of the way we dealt with what I believe was a very serious incident. The way the staff, the players and the supporters came together bodes well for the future.

“Woody was in a bad way. The emergency services were called but his dad has text me this morning and it looks as though he is okay and back on his feet.

“But it was a very worrying time at one point as people around us would testify.

“Society in general doesn’t seem to take health or mental health as seriously as it should and people like Rachel and others like her don’t go into this job just to get paid, they go into it because they care.

“All I can say about Rachel is that she is a young woman, quite new to the job and I thought the way she handled herself, in a cool, calm and professional manner, assured everybody in the ground and Woody that everything was going to be okay.

“I can’t speak highly enough about how well she did her job. In my opinion, as she progresses, she is going to go on and have an excellent career in this line of work.

“Sometimes, these things can be a learning curve and we have had a major incident but we have dealt with it very well.

“It was a shame we had to cut things short but I made that decision. Health is more important than a football match and that was my call.

“The most important thing is that Woody recovers.”

The Poppies have today confirmed that they will travel to Stamford for a friendly tomorrow evening (7.30pm) before they head to Corby Town for a Newlands Shield encounter on Saturday (3pm).