A young goalkeeper from Glenrothes is coming to terms with the horrific injuries he picked up playing for Glenrothes Amateurs.
Stewart Barlow needed to have the bottom part of his left leg reconstructed after an accidental collision with an opponent on a slippery pitch during a Scottish Amateur Cup game against St Monans Swifts.
But despite being told he may walk with a limp for the rest of his life, Stewart is focused on getting back to work in the new year and enjoying the festive holidays with his wife Julie and their three young children.
“I started playing for Glens in August and I was settling in well,” Stewart said.
“The team were doing well and we were looking forward to playing St Monans as we thought we could win.
“Ten minutes in to the game the ball came in the box and it was heading out towards the corner flag. I went after it and it was a 50-50, side on, with their forward trying to keep it in.
“The pitch was really wet and I remember I got the ball in my hands and he slid into my leg.
“I heard a crack and knew right away it was a bad one. It was really, painful straight away but I managed to keep my composure.
“I knew it was broken, I could feel the pain rushing through me, unbelievable pain.”
The match was abandoned as the extent of Stewart’s injury became clear and he was taken by ambulance to the Victoria Hospital.
“When we got my trousers off, the bottom part of my leg just fell back and the bone popped out four or five inches, it was an open fracture.
“I needed an epidural for the pain. The tibia and fibula were badly fractured.”
But despite everything he has been through, Stewart is hoping to start job hunting in the new year.
He had finished up as an assistant sous chef just before he was injured.
“Julie has been amazing the way she has helped me and it’s really hard not to be able to join in some games with our children,” he said.
“But you can’t feel sorry for yourself - you just have to get on and make the best of it.
‘‘It’s been hard on everyone but we just need to move on.”