Ossie Ardiles and Ricky Villa car crash: Former Tottenham midfielder Ardiles 'fine' following accident in the Falkland Islands

Argentinian footballing legend airlifted to hospital following car crash with son Pablo confirming he has had 20 stitches in his head

Ossie Ardiles has expressed his thanks to the help he received in the Falklands Islands after he was involved in a car accident which left him needing at least 20 stitches to his head.

Ardiles' former Spurs team-mate Ricky Villa was also involved in the incident, which took place while the pair were on the island to film a documentary.

Ardiles remains in the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital in Stanley, but his son Pablo said the 61-year-old was "fine". Press Association Sport understands Villa has been discharged from the hospital.

In a statement released from the Falkland Islands Government, Ardiles said: "Thank you to everyone in the Islands who has helped, without exception.

"From the moment of the accident, the attention and care we have received from the police, the RAF helicopter team, the doctors and nurses here has been world class.

"Thank you to everyone for your concern, I am fine and doing well."

The Falkland Islands Government confirmed full details of the accident in a statement on Tuesday.

It read: "Ex-Tottenham Hotspur player Ossie Ardiles was involved in a single vehicle road traffic collision (RTC) on the Darwin to Stanley road shortly after 1900 hours on Monday 20th January 2014. Mr Ardiles is here filming part of a documentary on his football career for ESPN, alongside his friend and fellow Spurs star Ricardo 'Ricky' Villa. Ossie's son Federico Ardiles also joins the group.

"Mr Ardiles and party had spent the day around Darwin visiting Argentine and British memorials in the area and were travelling to Stanley from Darwin when their vehicle left the road, approximately 14 miles from Darwin settlement. Both civilian and military emergency services attended the incident, and a Sea King helicopter was also tasked to the scene.

"This co-operation between local services and the British Forces ensured all individuals involved in the RTC were safely transported to the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital, where their injuries could be assessed. Three members of the party remained in hospital overnight for further observations whilst four individuals were released following treatment for minor injuries. The team's soundman, Carlos Marcellan, has sustained a neck injury which will further investigation, but is said to be doing well. Ricky Villa was discharged from hospital on Monday evening with no serious injuries.

"Ossie's son, Federico Ardiles, commented on the incident, "We are extremely grateful to the military police at MPA, the emergency services from Stanley, and the helicopter team who transferred us safely and professionally to hospital in Stanley. Moreover to everyone at the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital for their friendly and genuinely excellent care and attention given to us."

"Ossie Ardiles sustained severe lacerations to the head, but is progressing well. In thanking the teams and services involved, Ossie said, "Thank you to everyone in the Islands who has helped, without exception. From the moment of the accident, the attention and care we have received from the police, the RAF helicopter team, the doctors and nurses here has been world class. Thank you to everyone for your concern, I am fine and doing well."

"Director of Health and Social Services, Dr Hilary Rowland commended the efforts of the medical team at KEMH for their work with Mr Ardiles and his colleagues: 'This was truly a team effort. A range of disciplines and services have come together to care for and treat those involved in the accident. I'm very proud of how the team responded to this event in a calm and professional manner. This highlights the importance of the training we participate in to prepare for such incidents, although we always hope never to have to use such training'.

"The Falkland Islands Government wish Mr Ardiles and all of his colleagues a speedy recovery."

Ardiles and Villa spent 15 years on the playing staff at Tottenham between them and the north London club wished the duo a speedy recovery.

A statement from the club read: "All at the club wish Ossie Ardiles and Ricky Villa speedy recoveries after they were involved in a car accident in the Falklands on Monday evening.

"We have been in touch with Ossie's friends and relatives and have been informed that both Ricky and he were fine, and that Ossie suffered a cut to the head that required stitches, but he remained conscious throughout. Ossie remains in hospital."

Ardiles signed for Tottenham in 1978 from Huracan, winning the FA Cup with them in 1981.

He headed to Paris St Germain for a year on loan during the Falklands War, but returned to help the club to the UEFA Cup in 1984.

The Argentinian played 311 times for Tottenham. Ardiles also had a brief and unsuccessful spell as manager, but he is still revered by Spurs fans and is a regular at the club's games.

Villa joined Spurs at the same time as Ardiles and scored twice in the '81 FA Cup final replay win against Manchester City.

In the run up to the final, Tottenham released a song called "Ossie's Dream", which is still sung by Spurs fans today.

PA

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