Chatham Town’s Dan Ellis is out of the Buildbase FA Vase but he’ll be dining out on his ‘Bert Trautmann’ performance in the competition for long after his career ends!
The heroic stopper, pictured, followed in the famously brave footsteps of Manchester City’s German keeper Trautmann when he suffered a broken leg in the first half of their fourth round tie with Corinthian but amazingly played 120 mins of football and saved a pen before going to hospital!
Our GK Dan Ellis suffered a broken tibia during 1st half yesterday vs @CorinthianFC Amazingly he carried on to play 120 mins of football (saving a pen) before going to hospital.We wish him a speedy recovery and we will be raising money for Dan at our home game vs @AFCCroydonAth pic.twitter.com/AUDpFHFX2x
— Chatham Town FC (@ChathamTownFC) January 12, 2020
Former Manchester City keeper Trautmann famously broke several vertebrae in his neck during the 1956 FA Cup Final against Birmingham City but carried on playing as his side won 3-1.
Unfortunately for Ellis and his Southern Counties East Premier Division club, they ended up losing 2-1 after extra time – but not before Ellis had written himself into Chatham and Vase folklore.
— Denise Richmond (@eniser) January 19, 2020
Before Chatham held a fundraising appeal for Ellis when they hosted AFC Croydon Athletic last weekend, he told The Non-League Paper on Sunday: “It was about twenty minutes in, a cross had come in, I’ve caught it and their player has gone for the ball and knocked me off balance.
“As I’ve come down my right leg has planted, turned and my knee popped. Immediately I thought that was me done and then I remembered we didn’t have a goalkeeper on the bench!”
Chatham usually have back-up keeper Jordan Carey in their match day squad but for the first time this season he was playing dual-registration for VCD Athletic, leaving Ellis in a tricky situation.
“I took some painkillers and carried on!” he said, with centre-back Reece Butler taking over his goal kicks. “I got it strapped up at half-time so I couldn’t move it and I couldn’t really feel the pain.”
And early in the second half, Ellis saved Luke Tanner’s penalty to keep the score at 0-0 before Jack Evans put Chatham ahead.
But they conceded another spot-kick, converted by Oscar Housego, and then in extra time he struck again to win the tie.
Ellis headed straight to hospital where scans showed he had an avulsion fracture of the tibia condyle where the knee ligament pulls off part of the tibia.
Before the results of a scan this week to see if surgery is needed, he was predicted to be out of action of four to eight weeks.
“We’re gutted to be out,” added Ellis. “Fair play to Corinthian, they did a job on us and I hope they go on to do well. It probably just wasn’t our day.”
Make sure you get your copy of The Non-League Paper on Sunday and Monday for the latest news from across Non-League over the last seven days, together with exclusive match reports and pictures from all of Saturday’s action from the National League to Steps 5 & 6 and the Southern Counties East Football League.