Dublin's neck injury could have left him crippled

The Aston Villa manager, John Gregory, has said that striker Dion Dublin came within millimetres of ending up in a wheelchair when he broke his neck against Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday.

The Aston Villa manager, John Gregory, has said that striker Dion Dublin came within millimetres of ending up in a wheelchair when he broke his neck against Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday.

Dublin, who broke bones in his vertebrae in a clash with the Sheffield Wednesday substitute Gerald Sibon, will be out for up to three months, but the outcome for the 13-goal club leading scorer would have been far more serious had the vertebrae been severed.

"It is a major, major blow losing Dion Dublin but it hardly compares to the stark reality of the situation which is that he could have been in a wheelchair - that's how bad the injury was," Gregory said.

"I thought he had just taken a knock on the head and would be suffering from concussion. But when I went into the dressing-room after the game and saw that Dion, physio Jim Walker and the club doctor weren't there, it was then I realised how bad the situation was. It was very serious and Jim said he was gob-smacked by the complexity of the operation.

"It's been said in the past that football is more important than life but something like this puts that statement into perspective. There are certainly things which are far more important than being able to kick a bag of wind around.

"Dion's football career will last until he is 35 or so but he's got another 50 years after that - and we don't want them blighted by injury. But, thank God, Dion is now walking around and watching TV. He is coming along fine."

Southampton have signed the Latvian international Imant Bleidelis on a three-and-a-half-year contract, subject to a work permit. Saints have worked out a deal with Skonto Riga and the 24-year-old midfielder has agreed personal terms. Provided Bleidelis is granted a work permit he will link up with his compatriot Marian Pahars at The Dell.

The outgoing Leicester City plc chairman, Phil Smith, has accused boardroom rivals Sir Rodney Walker and John Elsom of hiding behind the Leicester manager, Martin O'Neill, after conceding defeat in the club power struggle.

Smith and his fellow directors Gilbert Kinch and Roy Parker resigned ahead of tomorrow's EGM after it became clear that Elsom, the football club chairman, and Walker, the plc chief, were heading for a landslide victory.

"It does not appear to matter that Sir Rodney Walker and John Elsom have offered no reasonable explanation either for the Worthington Cup tickets fiasco," Smith said. "They have instead chosen to hide behind the support of Martin O'Neill, who has left no-one in doubt as to his position and the possible consequences if we had won the vote. At no time has Martin O'Neill told us any concrete reasons as to why he is not able to work with us."

News
i100
News
people Emma Watson addresses celebrity nude photo leak
News
Katie Hopkins appearing on 'This Morning' after she purposefully put on 4 stone.
peopleKatie Hopkins breaks down in tears over weight gain challenge
News
peopleHis band Survivor was due to resume touring this month
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Robert De Niro, Martin Scorsese and DiCaprio, at an awards show in 2010
filmsAll just to promote a new casino
News
i100
News
In this photo illustration a school student eats a hamburger as part of his lunch which was brought from a fast food shop near his school, on October 5, 2005 in London, England. The British government has announced plans to remove junk food from school lunches. From September 2006, food that is high in fat, sugar or salt will be banned from meals and removed from vending machines in schools across England. The move comes in response to a campaign by celebrity TV chef Jamie Oliver to improve school meals.
science
News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Life and Style
fashionModel of the moment shoots for first time with catwalk veteran
News
i100
Sport
Tom Cleverley
footballLoan move comes 17 hours after close of transfer window
Sport
Alexis Sanchez, Radamel Falcao, Diego Costa and Mario Balotelli
footballRadamel Falcao and Diego Costa head record £835m influx
Life and Style
fashionAngelina Jolie's wedding dressed revealed
News
Boris Johnson may be manoeuvring to succeed David Cameron
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Stolen youth: Younger blood can reverse many of the effects of ageing

Stolen youth

Younger blood can reverse many of the effects of ageing
Bob Willoughby: Hollywood's first behind the scenes photographer

Bob Willoughby: The reel deal

He was the photographer who brought documentary photojournalism to Hollywood, changing the way film stars would be portrayed for ever
Angelina Jolie's wedding dress: made by Versace, designed by her children

Made by Versace, designed by her children

Angelina Jolie's wedding dressed revealed
Anyone for pulled chicken?

Pulling chicks

Pulled pork has gone from being a US barbecue secret to a regular on supermarket shelves. Now KFC is trying to tempt us with a chicken version
'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband