Pic: Slough Town FC
By Jon Couch & Sam Elliott
NON-LEAGUE football has rallied around stricken Slough Town goalkeeper Mark Scott after he broke his neck during last weekend’s win over Basingstoke.
Scott shattered his C6 vertebrate after damaging his spine early on in the Southern League match last week following an accidental collision with Dragons forward Nana Owusu.
The match was delayed for 40 minutes as he received specialist treatment on the Arbour Park 3G pitch before he was eventually rushed to hospital.
It is said the quick actions of both Slough and Basingstoke physiotherapists were vital in preventing further spinal cord damage.
A relief fund has been set up for the 26-year-old, who is now facing between three to six months out of work as a trainee accountant following the successful operation on Monday.
Slough fans opened a crowdfunding page – an online donation collector – and the response has been “staggering” according to Rebels joint-boss Neil Baker.
Well over £6,500 has already been promised and rival clubs have held fundraising collections for him during their midweek fixtures.
Promotion foes Leamington raised £350 during their game with Kettering and other donations have also arrived from Basingstoke and Salford City.
Keeper Scott posted on his facebook page on Tuesday morning to thank people for their support – before apologising for the quality of his words from his hospital bed!
“The amount of kind messages I have received is in the hundreds, we have found them all so overwhelming and I will try to reply to every single one when I am at home resting.
“Sorry for the statement. It’s 1.45am and I have been taking a lot of pain relief!”
He later added: “I’ve had hundreds of messages of support. It’s amazing when football goes beyond rivalry and becomes such a community.
“I’ve never heard of anyone breaking his neck [playing football]. I was very fortunate, if there had been no physiotherapists there I would just have been dragged off the pitch and probably paralysed for life.”
Joint-boss Baker told The NLP: “The support Mark has received in both donations and wonderful words tells you all you need to know about football at our level. It just goes to show the strength of the Non-League community.
“Mark, like everyone at the club, has been genuinely touched by the messages of support and well wishes he has received but I think the reality is just starting to settle in that he has a long road of recovery ahead.
“It’s going to be a good year before he can even think about putting the gloves on again and there are a lot of psychological battles to overcome first.
“Mark knows he has the continued support of everyone at the club. He’s a fantastic goalkeeper and we’re going to miss him badly during his absence.”