Ludlow Rugby Club's Matt Wilkes airlifted to hospital after serious back injuries in match at Stoke (From Ludlow Advertiser)
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Ludlow Rugby Club's Matt Wilkes airlifted to hospital after serious back injuries in match at Stoke
Stoke-on-Trent 38 pts Ludlow 5 (Match abandoned after 61 minutes)
LUDLOW Rugby Club’s teenage hooker, Matt Wilkes, was airlifted to hospital with a serious back injury in their Midlands One West match at Stoke.
The 19-year-old fractured three vertebrae in his back after a 61st-minute tackle in Saturday’s match.
Play was held up for 25 minutes while emergency services arrived to treat Wilkes.
The match was then abandoned but the result will stand.
An air ambulance was called to Stoke’s g round in Hartwell Lane, Barlaston, after Wilkes complained of pins and needles in his leg and neck pain.
He was treated at the scene before being taken to the University of North Staffordshire Hospital.
“Matt has three fractured vertebrae in his back and a couple of compressed vertebrae,” said Ludlow coach Dave Irish.
“He will be in a neck and back brace for some time and will be off work as a chef for a number of months.
“It was a freak accident, but I have to thank the people from Stoke who looked after him and have asked what they can do to support Matt and his family.
“I am grateful that Stoke and the referee agreed to abandon the game as we felt that it would not be appropriate to re-start it.”
Wilkes has since returned home in Ludlow to start his recuperation and Irish said that he will be a big loss to the team.
“Matt has been playing really well and has been one of the team’s most consistent players this season,” said Irish.
“He has represented North Midlands and Hereford and Worcester and has a lot of talent.”
Theo Hodnett and Craig Parkes were also injured during the game, which saw Stoke rattle in six tries.
The result will stand, however, which leaves Ludlow secondfrom- bottom in the Midlands One West table.
The Linneymen will now aim to bounce back when they host mid-table Walsall on Saturday.
“It’s a must-win game if we want to pull away from the bottom five,” said Irish.
“Against Stoke, we got stretched and we’ve got to get some consistency.
“If we can get everyone fit then, hopefully, we can get our first win, starting on Saturday.”