Sam Ward Hockey Injury:- A career-threatening eye injury hasn’t stopped Great Britain Hockey’s double Olympian Sam Ward from dressing up. Following his left eye surgery, Ward said the post-op photos were “gruesome” because “they sliced me from ear to ear and essentially took my face off”.
20 months later, he returns, clad in a Zorro-style mask, to lead GB to triumph. Ward, who has 72 goals in 126 appearances for Great Britain and England, had “painful” memories for months following the game. And he still has “night terrors” when strangers attempt to assault his ‘good eye.
The 29-year-old believed his career was finished, but he made an amazing comeback last month, scoring a stunning late equalizer for his club Old Georgians.
Sean Kerly was my hero. He came down to conduct a shooting competition at St Margaret’s Pasture in Leicester when I began at Leicester HC. He may have let me win.
My earliest Olympic hockey memory was from Atlanta in 1996. I never expected to play for GB back then.
I then worked for five years in the auto sector, gaining valuable life experience. It’s also taught me a lot as a runner Thanks to my late entry, I want to encourage those who don’t get selected for the under-21s and higher. So if anybody comes through, I want to congratulate them and encourage them.
The loss of eyesight is permanent and has not altered. I visited several people and neurologists to change my brain’s thinking. People are stronger and I am living off it and utilizing it in the best possible way.
The screams? I’d say they’ve been laid to rest.
Jip Janssen congratulated me on my Olympic selection since we both play with masks now. We talked after his incident [in April, Jip was hit in the eye and thought blind].
Adversity pulls people together, and it’s wonderful to watch him rip the goals in.