Ex-Arsenal striker left with 48 stitches in head after golf buggy smashes into tree at 25 mph

By Mirror: Thursday, June 14th 2018 at 12:36 GMT +3 | Football
John Hartson while playing for Arsenal. [Photo/Courtesy]

Former Arsenal and Celtic striker needed 48 stitches after his golf buggy crashed into a tree - but still turned up for a sportsman's dinner with his head bandaged.

The Welsh international believes he could have died in the high-speed accident while playing golf near his home in Peebles.

The 43-year-old 'could have lost an eye' when the cart was going down hill and the driver pressed the accelerator instead of the brake by mistake.

The ex-striker needed 48 stitches in his head after the accident and doctors told him he would need plastic surgery, report the Daily Record.

Guests at an amateur football club sportsman’s dinner in Kincardineshire, were shocked when he turned up with his head bandaged.

Cowie Thistle treasurer Neil Cursiter said: “He was open about what had happened as there were 100 people waiting to hear about it at the event.

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“He said the golf buggy was going downhill and the person driving hit the accelerator instead of the brake and they hit a tree.

“He told us it was close to him losing an eye. He explained that he had been rushed into theatre and there was blood everywhere. The surgeons told him he would need plastic surgery.

“He had clearly been in the wars so it is a credit to John that he turned up at our event.”

The crash happened on Wednesday but Hartson was determined not to miss the football dinner on Saturday.

A source at the event, held at the Station Hotel, in Stonehaven, Kincardineshire, said: “Everyone was shocked when John appeared bandaged-up.

“He has 48 stitches from the front right to the back of his head.

“John said they were going down a hill and ploughed into the tree at about 25 miles and hour”

“He said he could have been dead and instead of being at the event, his kids could have been burying him.

The source added: “He had to tell the story umpteen times. It was great of John to fulfil the speaking
engagement.

“He is a cracking bloke. It’s amazing he didn’t call off. But he said, ‘I’m injured, I’m not ill.”

Welshman Hartson, who previously had brain surgery for cancer, is a pundit for BT Sport.

Hartson playing golf. [Photo/Courtesy]

He played for Wales, Arsenal, West Ham United, Wimbledon, Coventry City, West Bromwich Albion, Luton Town and Norwich City.

In July 2009, four months after retiring from playing, Hartson was diagnosed with testicular cancer which had spread to his brain.

After successful treatment, he set up a charity, The John Hartson Foundation to help others.

Asked about the golf buggy crash yesterday, he said: “I don’t want to go into it all right now.”

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