Amateur footballer undergoes emergency surgery after false widow spider bite in Devon
The most venomous spider in Britain has bitten an amateur footballer in Devon.
The 22-year-old from Dawlish had to undergo an emergency operation at Torbay Hospital after a false widow spider bit him in his sleep.
Steve Harris’ teammates at Elmore Football Club, which plays in the South West Peninsula Premier League, thought the defender was joking when he was pulled out of the squad for three weeks because of the injury. They only believed him when he showed them a photo of his wound.
“When I woke up I had a pain in my side - a stinging feeling. I didn't take that much notice until it started swelling and the pain got worse.
“The area around the bite mark just ballooned and grew and grew. It was only when the area started to turn black, some four days after I first noticed the bite, that I decided I ought to go to hospital.”
He now has an open wound where surgeons had to cut out the spider’s poison.
The GP at the surgery where the footballer was diagnosed has seen six similar bits in the last few weeks.
“They operated on me immediately and it took half an hour to cut away the area around the bite to get at the poison. I now have an open wound and have to wait for it to heal over.
"I was in agony. I have never had pain like that before in my life. It's still very painful now. I still can't sleep properly and find it virtually impossible to get in and out of a car."
The false widow spider (steatoda nobilis) is the most dangerous of the 12 species of biting spider known in Britain and is thought to have arrived in fruit crates transported from the Canary Islands in the late 19th Century.
A succession of mild winters have resulted in a significant increase in the number of reported sightings and bites.
There have been no reported deaths from the spider’s bite in the UK.
- 1 Kylie Jenner challenge: Bizarre lip suction device inspired by Kardashian sister goes viral
- 2 Rarest Beanie Baby bought for just £10 at car boot sale could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
- 3 Katie Hopkins and The Sun editor are reported to police for incitement to racial hatred following migrant boat column
- 4 Bruce Forsyth backs assisted dying campaign: 'If I had Alzheimer's or dementia I would do something about it'
- 5 Giorgio Armani criticises the way some gay men dress saying 'a man has to be a man'
Rarest Beanie Baby bought for just £10 at car boot sale could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
Katie Hopkins and The Sun editor are reported to police for incitement to racial hatred following migrant boat column
Australian student Tommy Connolly, 23, adopts his pregnant, homeless 17-year-old cousin to give her a chance at 'a better life'
Giorgio Armani criticises the way some gay men dress saying 'a man has to be a man'
Electronic waste worth £34bn piling up in 'toxic mine', warns UN report
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
£14000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Office Administrator is requ...
£12000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Due to expansion and growth of ...
£40000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Senior PHP Developer position with a...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: An Operations Leader is required to join a lea...