Former Sunderland defender lands new club after serious car accident

Patrick Almond has signed for Darlington after his return to football following a serious car accident.

The former Sunderland youngster was involved in a serious road traffic collision back in June as a rear passenger in a car in Manchester. The defender was taken to hospital with serious head injuries but thankfully pulled through to make a full recovery.

Almond returned to the pitch for the first time since the crash last month. The ex-Blyth Spartans loanee played 90 minutes for Shildon AFC in the Northern Premier League Division One East.

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Posting on Twitter, Patrick’s dad, Kevin, posted: “Things you love to see on a Saturday The big lad (Paddy Almond) getting 90 mins in the tank, for Shildon. 6 months since last played. 5 months since the accident. 4 1/2 months of non-stop training. Well done son, credit to yourself and never let it get you down.”

Patrick Almond in action during the Papa John's Trophy between Sunderland and Manchester United U21 at Stadium of Light on October 13, 2021 in Sunderland, England. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Almond, 20, is a product of Sunderland's academy system and joined the club when he was just 11, cementing himself as a regular starter in the club’s youth teams.

The defender was in and around Sunderland’s first team for the Papa John’s Trophy and was an unused first-team substitute for the games against Fleetwood Town and Lincoln City.

After being an unused substitute the week before in the same competition, Almond made his senior professional debut in the Papa John’s Trophy in the 2-1 win over Manchester United under-23s at the Stadium of Light.

Almond then enjoyed a loan spell at Blyth Spartans before being released by Sunderland at the end of the 2021-22 season. But now, Darlington have completed the signing of Almond on a dual registration basis from Shildon.

Darlington manager Alun Armstrong said; "Patrick will provide us with some cover in the centre of defence over the rest of the season." A statement on Darlington’s club website added: “We would like to thank Shildon for their co-operation with the dual signing.”

Darlington are currently the league leaders in the National League North and are two points clear of second place Brackley Town. The Quakers have taken 44 points from 23 games.