By PETE NASH
Volume 10 of the Striker Collection should have been ready to order next week but unfortunately I've been laid low with a freak eye injury picked up in walking football of all things - it ought to be classified as an extreme sport!
It was actually pretty scary. I'd started a league here on the Isle of Man with six founding teams and had gone to speak to one of the teams (from an established club on the island) to go over the rules at a practice game they'd organised prior to the league launch. As they only had nine players, I offered to go in goal to make up the numbers (I wasn't even in my kit as I wasn't expecting to play) and within five minutes
I'd been hit smack in the face by a close-range shot.
There was no nose bleed or black eye and I felt ok so I carried on, but the next morning I woke up and discovered I could barely see out of my left eye - just shades of light and dark. They diagnosed a suspected torn retina at A and E and were preparing to fly me to Liverpool for emergency surgery when they found an ophthalmic surgeon who scanned my eye and thankfully found the retina to be intact. But the vision loss was caused by a vitreous hemorrhage (bleeding inside the back of the eyeball) which is still a serious injury as it could get worse and lead to a detached retina.
If I'm lucky the debris from the hemorrhage inside the eyeball will dissipate by itself over a few weeks but in the meanwhile I have to sleep sitting up at a 45 degree angle (so gravity can sink the debris) and can't do walking football or any strenuous exercise that could trigger another hemorrhage.
Gutted to miss the start of the league but also thankful that I haven't gone blind in one eye. We all take important things like our eyesight for granted until something bad happens, so from now on I'll be wearing sports goggles in goal!
Needless to say, Volume 10 has been put back by a couple of weeks but my vision has cleared to the point where I can at least work on the computer again, so I'll be starting work on the cover tomorrow. It'll be another monster book of 336 pages and will wrap up the adventures from the 2003 to 2005 weekly comics. It will also include some artwork that was created for the War of the Worlds graphic novel we were hoping to do, as well as the story of why the project imploded.
Not long to wait now - the book should be ready around mid-March.