The Coventry Telegraph and other media outlets have recently reported on an interview given to talkSPORT by former doughty Sky Blue defender, CCFPA member and former committee member David Busst focussing on the career changing injury he received at Old Trafford in 1996. Bussty appeared on the station alongside his former boss (himself a former Sky Blue player and Association member) Bobby Gould.
A Brummie, Dave had been spotted playing non-league with Moor Green. He subsequently signed at professional contract with CCFC in summer 1992 and soon became a fans’ favourite at Highfield Road, known for his determination and commitment to the cause. In 1996, however, having ventured forward for a corner in Manchester, in a sickening double collision with United’s Denis Irwin and Brain McClair he suffered an extensive compound fractures to both tibia and fibula of his right leg. Suggested to be one of the worst injuries in the history of football the gruesome sight infamously caused United keeper Peter Schmeichel to be physically sick on the pitch.
Despite an incredible 26 operations, Busst remained a member of the Sky Blues squad but never played professionally again before being forced to retire on medical advice in November the same year. However he was given a testimonial match against Manchester United and both Paul Gascoigne and Les Ferdinand wore the Sky Blue for the game as guests. Eric Cantona scored for the Reds in what was his last appearance for United (left).
In the interview Bussty admits that the terrible injury is often what people recognise him for: “I’ve always been open talking about it. Whether it’s in my day-to-day job, people in the community, Coventry fans, it’s kind of what I’m known for. I don’t mind.” The articles also provides a horrific photo (tweeted by talkSPORT presenter Andy Goldstein) and video previously posted online over the weekend revealing what Dave’s leg looks like today. They can be seen for example at:-http://www.coventrytelegraph.net/sport/football/football-news/former-coventry-city-star-david-9735378 or http://au.eurosport.com/football/premier-league/2015-2016/david-busst-reveals-scars-from-horrific-1996-leg-break_sto4836124/story.shtml
Recalling the career changing moment at Old Trafford, Dave said,
“I was on the pitch 87 seconds when I got injured. Irwin came off the post I think and McClair came from behind and in that split second it was just the impact of two forces, one going one way and one going the other way. I knew something serious had happened; something wasn’t in the place it should have been. I could see from the reaction of people around me. I’ll never forget Dion Dublin, he was just bent down with his hand on his head, the look of horror in his eyes.
They would have seen my right shin coming up at an ‘L’ shape when it should have been straight down. I didn’t look down, you go into shock mode. The pain is excruciating. You freeze. You think any movement will make it worse. I saw the physio come on and then they called for the Man United physio to come on and then the doctors to come on. I hadn’t passed out.”
Recalling his arrival in hospital back in 1996, he said: “I had to have the kit cut off me. I always remember them having to remove my boot, my sock and my shinpad and I was awake for that.”
“Steve Bruce and his son Alex, who was eight years old, came in. Ryan Giggs came to see me. After about 4-5 weeks I was able to go out to a hotel with my family and I got a call from downstairs saying there was a Manchester United fan who wanted to come up and see me. This young lad in a baseball cap came up and I said “Hi, I’m Dave Busst” and he said ‘I’m David Beckham’. I went ‘oh God I’m so sorry, they said it was just a fan down in the lobby’. He wasn’t as famous as he is now.”
Dave is now the Sky Blues Football in the Community supremo (go to www.sbitc.org or www.facebook.com/SBitC to see the range and significance of their work). Dave also is a leading light in supporting the various Sky Blue Legends Charity games over the years (right). Amongst many other things the organisation runs a couple of ‘Walking Football’ fitness programmes for over 50s supported by CCFPA at St Finbarr’s Sports & Social Club on Thursday mornings and Bedworth Oval on Mondays. Bussty sometimes takes part but he admitted in the interviews: “When I play, I go in for challenges and my dad absolutely cringes!”.