SAFC fan, 13, suffers broken arm and spends night in hospital after being hit by ball during win at Stadium of Light
A 13-year old Sunderland fan suffered a broken right arm after being struck by a wayward free kick at the Stadium of Light.
Eight minutes into Sunderland's 2-1 victory over Portsmouth on August 17, Pompey midfielder Ben Close tried to score.
But the free kick soared over the crossbar and directly at Jonathan Crooks in the North Stand.
It left him with a broken radius, the bone on the thumb side of the forearm, and he had to spend a night in hospital.
The break left the all-round sportsman, who plays for his school football team and for Hylton Cricket Club as a spin bowler, distraught, but to lift his spirits SAFC have invited him to see a match at the Stadium of Light as a special guest of the club.
At first the Castle View pupil said he was just pleased it wasn't a goal, but he soon found himself in pain.
He said: "I thought ‘I’m going to get hit in the face unless I punch it away'. It hit my arm. I went to the first aid room. They took my details and rang my mam. My dad came down for me during the second half.
"I went to hospital and waited in there for a couple of hours. I ended up spending Sunday night there."
Jonathan's mum Anita said: "It was a clean break. They tried to manipulate it back into place, but had to put a cast on. They’ll look again and if the bones have moved they’ll have to put a metal plate in."
A club spokesperson said: “We attended to Jonathan on Saturday and followed up with a welfare call to his family on Monday, to check how he was.
"We know Jonathan is a keen sportsman, so missing out on his favourite sporting activities will be tough for him.
"To help cheer him up we've extended an invitation to him to come to a game as a special guest of the club, when he is feeling well enough of course, and we look forward to seeing him and his family.”