AFTER waiting months for the return to grassroots football from the Covid-19 lockdown, a player broke his leg at the weekend.

The clash between Billinge FC and Lostock Gralam was abandoned after 26 minutes due to the seriousness of Liam Bott's injury.

Billinge player Bott was penalised for his part in a 50:50 challenge but it soon became apparent that he was in agony.

His teammate Danny Murphy, a doctor, diagnosed there was a major problem and advised that Bott should not be moved and that an ambulance should be called for.

With the ambulance not expected for an hour the officials had no option other than to abandon the game.

Bott will require an operation.

Northwich Guardian:

Action from Billinge (claret) v Lostock Gralam (orange). Pictures: Karl Brooks Photography

Northwich Guardian:

Northwich Guardian:

Northwich Guardian:

Northwich Guardian:

"Everybody at Billinge is absolutely gutted for the lad and anything we can do to help we shall do so," says a club statement.

"Since joining The Storks earlier in the season he has been superb out on the pitch - both training and on match day - and was becoming an integral part of our squad and club.

"We wish him a speedy recovery and look forward to seeing him in the claret and blue of Billinge as soon as he is ready."

The score was 0-0 at the time, with both sides having had a couple of half chances.

Neither team had played football in the Cheshire League since December because of the Covid-19 lockdown and restrictions had only been eased last week.

This was both teams' first game in a newly created 16-strong Champions League-style competition for the JB Parker Premier Division Shield - designed to get open-age footballers back playing football.