Things are going pretty well for Shane Duffy right now. The dominant centre-back put in a performance for the ages as Ireland overcame Wales in Cardiff last month, and he is central to Martin O’Neill’s plans if they Boys in Green are to get past Denmark next week and qualify for their first World Cup since 2002.
Meanwhile, he is quickly adapting to life in the Premier League with Brighton, showing the same form as he attracts attention from all quarters for all the right reasons.
However, things could have been so much different for the Derry native. In 2010 during a training session, Duffy suffered a freak accident which could have cost him his life.
In an interview with BBC, the Republic of Ireland star revealed just how lucky he was.
“It was just a deep free-kick when I go up, and the keeper obviously thought he could punch the ball. I went up to header it, and he kneed me in [the chest]. I just thought I was winded at the start. I hit the floor hard. I couldn’t get my breath back for ten seconds.
“There was the artery under my liver which had gotten sliced open, but there was no blood anywhere on me, it was all internal. I had lost three litres of blood inside my body, and my heart was obviously starting to stop.
“My dad was waiting, and the doctor came out and said “We could lose your son here”.
“When I woke up, I didn’t now what happened. All I remembered was hitting the ground hard.”
Powerful stuff from the Derry native. The full video is well worth a watch, and is available here.