One of South Shields Football Club’s longest serving players has suffered Wembley heartbreak – after sustaining a broken leg less than two months before the FA Vase final.
Striker Stephen Ramsey will miss out on the showpiece occasion after picking up the injury on Thursday.
The 27-year-old is in his 10th season with the club, who he has represented more than 300 times.
A dream Wembley date was on the horizon, but those hopes have now been dashed after he suffered a broken tibia in a 50-50 challenge towards the end of the 2-1 league win at Sunderland RCA.
Popular Stephen has been inundated with messages since the cruel blow, something which has been a huge source of comfort to him.
Speaking from his hospital bed at Sunderland Royal Hospital yesterday, the striker – a mechanic by trade – said: “It’s obviously a massive blow to me and I’m devastated to be missing out on such important games, especially Wembley.
It’s obviously a massive blow to me and I’m devastated to be missing out on such important games, especially WembleyStephen Ramsey
“It just sums up what it has been like for me recently.
“As soon as I get back fit again and get an opportunity, something else happens.
“I’ve had hundreds of messages, lots of them from people I don’t even know, wishing me well.
“It has been a bit emotional reading some of them but is much appreciated, and has really helped me.”
Stephen was yesterday told by doctors he did not require an operation, and that he would instead be in a leg cast for six to eight weeks. He returned home from hospital last night.
The striker will still make the journey to Wembley on May 21 to see his team-mates take on Cleethorpes Town in the final. Messages of support for the loyal Mariner continue to flood in.
On Facebook, Gary Atkinson wrote: “Gutted for the lad! Commitment in the tackle was 110%. Wishing you a speedy recovery!”
Andy Wilson added: “Lionhearted challenge by Ramma, put his body on the line for the team, hope he has a speedy recovery UTM.”
Blayne O’Brien posted: “Such a shame he won’t get a run out at Wembley. Loyal to Shields over the years. Speedy recovery Ramma.”
Tim Hines said “Get well soon mate. We had 10 heroes out there tonight and your commitment in that tackle late on was immense. Hope recovery is quick.”
Denise O’Reilly wrote: “Such a shame for the lad at this point in the run up to Wembley. Speedy recovery.”
Vivien Scott added: “Get well soon Steve.”