HAWKESBURY’S Michael Gregson went to watch his beloved Penrith Panthers on Monday night not only looking forward to the match but knowing he’d feature in the half-time entertainment.
Little did he know, he’d also feature in Nepean Hospital’s emergency department.
Gregson was competing in a game called the ‘Big Ball Bash’, where two teams of fans sprint from either goal line to a giant ball, which then must be pushed over the opposition stripe to ensure victory.
Running from 50 metres away, Gregson smashed into the giant ball, as per normal, but the collision resulted in a broken and dislocated ankle.
Another Penrith fan also involved shared the ambulance ride to hospital with Gregson after he suffered a dislocated shoulder.
Soon after the collision it became apparent something bad had happened in the usually entertaining game.
Gregson quickly waved his hands in the air to signify something was wrong, and doctors, who already had their hands full with injuries to Penrith players Josh Mansour and Tyrone Peachey, were called on to attend to the Hawkesbury fan.
Despite being in pain, Gregson talked the Hawkesbury Gazette just hours after the incident.
“Currently in Nepean ED,” Gregson told the Gazette.
“They’ve set the ankle and will operate to fix the break tomorrow [Tuesday] morning.”
And he was even good enough to recount what happened out on the field as shocked fans watched on.
“All I remember is running full speed at the ball and bracing myself for impact,” he said.
“I knew straight away I’d broken something, so they called it off pretty quickly. One of the other blokes didn’t get out unscathed either, he dislocated his shoulder. “There was no pain straight away, adrenaline kept me from feeling it. I’ve been kept on a steady supply of morphine so I’m grateful for that.”
Gregson’s sense of humour was still with him when asked what effect the injury will have on his immediate future.
“It’s ended my City 2 Surf campaign, but I don’t know how much of a difference it’d make to my time,” he said.
A similar incident several years ago saw Canberra officials sued, but Panthers Group CEO Warren Wilson on Monday night confirmed that all participants in the half-time entertainment had signed waiver forms.