As Welsh cyclist Geraint Thomas rode the Tour de France while suffering from a fractured pelvis, we look at other sports stars who have gritted their teeth and battled injury to carry on:
1. Bert Trautmann Played in a Soccer Final with a broken neck
When it comes to playing on after injury, one performance immediately comes to mind. In 1956, German-born goalkeeper Bert Trautmann won an FA Cup winners’ medal after he played the last 17 minutes of the final with a broken neck. Manchester City had taken a 3-1 lead against Birmingham at Wembley when, in the 73rd minute, Trautmann dived at the feet of the onrushing forward, Peter Murphy. The Birmingham player’s knee collided with the City goalkeeper’s neck in a clash which knocked Trautmann out. There were no substitutes in those days, so City looked as if they would play the game’s closing stages with 10 men. But Trautmann had other ideas, unsteadily taking his place between the posts and even making two fine stops to maintain the lead. It was only days later that an X-ray revealed a broken neck and Trautmann’s name went down in legend. It was a far cry to when he first arrived in Manchester.
2. Paul Wood plays on with a Ruptured Testicle
Male readers should look away now as we relate the tale of rugby league star Paul Wood. The Warrington Wolves prop played through the pain barrier after being kneed in the groin and suffering a ruptured testicle in the 2012 Super League Grand Final. He said: “I was just running with the ball and collided with the Leeds lad. There was an accidental slight knee raise and it was over in a flash.