Paul Malone will be able to play for Corby Town against Weymouth tomorrow (Saturday) after a remarkable turn of events on social networking site Twitter this week.
The Steelmen centre-half suffered a cut to his head during the 2-1 defeat to Dover Athletic in the first round proper last weekend, an injury that forced a couple of changes of shirt due to the amount of blood that came from it.
Having been told he would need to wear a special protective headband if he wanted to feature in this weekend’s Calor League Premier Division match at Steel Park, Malone – a Manchester United fan – sent a tweet to England superstar Wayne Rooney to jokingly ask if he could borrow the headband he wore to cover a cut earlier in the season.
But what started as a tongue-in-cheek comment soon spiralled into a trending event on Twitter with Steelmen fans taking up Malone’s cause, using the hashtag #headbandformolly.
One of those fans, James McCafferty, sent out numerous tweets including one to bookmakers William Hill, who offered their help.
They have now secured a headband for Malone for this weekend, made by Storelli Sports in Brooklyn, New York – the same company that produced Rooney’s headgear.
Malone said: “It has been crazy!
“Our physio Scott Tomkins told me I would have to wear a headband to cover the stitches so I jokingly said I would speak to Wayne Rooney about it.
“I was just messing about on Twitter really and then the fans got it trending on there and then I had William Hill getting in contact with me asking what size I would need!
“Now I am getting one from the same company that helped Wayne. I am a huge Manchester United fan and if he was to acknowledge what has happened over the last few days it would make me very happy.
“The most important thing is that I can play at the weekend and I am very grateful for everyone’s help.”
McCafferty added: “I just saw the tweets that Paul had sent out and thought I would try to get in contact with Wayne Rooney or some of the other United players.
“But I had no luck and thought I would try a few bookmakers and luckily William Hill got back to me.
“It has been a lot of fun but the serious side to it is that we want Paul playing in our matches. It was good to help.”
A spokesman from William Hill said: “For the matter of $60, this was something worth doing.”
Malone picked up his headband from William Hill’s shop in Corporation Street on Thursday night.
That branch of the bookmakers is also offering a special bet with odds of 10/1 that Malone will score with his head in Saturday’s clash.
And the company have placed a £20 bet on that happening themselves and should Malone score a goal with his head then the winnings will be donated to Lakelands Hospice.