Footballer airlifted to hospital after match injury at Barrowford

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THIS is the moment an air ambulance helicopter landed on the centre spot during a Sunday league football match and left spectators holding on to their scarves.

A football tackle during the game between Life FC and Weston FC at Bull Holme playing fields resulted in a 21-year-old man being airlifted to hospital by the North West Air Ambulance Service.

The serious challenge between two players in the first half meant the game had to be stopped while the Weston FC footballer was carried off.

And the moment of the landing was captured on camera by spectator and off duty Nelson and Colne referee Joe Cooney who said “he could not quite believe it” as it made it’s hovering descent.

He said: “It was in the first half when the tackle happened close to the centre circle. It was hard but fair. The referee stopped the game and two of the players carried him off and put him on the sideline.

“At first the injury did not look too bad but then it went really swollen and did not look very comfortable at all.”

An ambulance was called to treat the injured man but on arrival paramedics decided to call for the air ambulance who arrived at the scene within minutes.

The man was given pain relief and oxygen before his leg was put in a support and he was stretchered away.

He was taken to the Royal Blackburn Hospital in seven minutes flat where he was treated for the knee injury.

Mr Cooney said: “The player was more bothered about knowing whether he could get to see Manchester United play that afternoon or not!

“Everyone was snapping pictures of the helicopter - it’s not every week you see something like that.”

The game ended in a 1-1 draw.