EXCLUSIVE: Battered and bruised Cartwright vows to cheer Wisbech Town to Wembley
BATTERED and bruised Stacy Cartwright has vowed to cheer his team-mates to Wembley – days after his season was ended by horrific facial injuries.
Cartwright broke his nose in four places and fractured his eye socket during the first half of Wisbech Town’s FA Vase Fourth Round 2-2 draw with Dunston UTS on Saturday.
However, the brave centre-back ignored the pain to support his side throughout the game and extra time before going to hospital.
Cartwright said: “I wanted to cheer the boys on. I didn’t want to miss anything, and the pain wasn’t too bad.
“It’s only when I got to the hospital that the adrenaline wore off and I felt like somebody was stabbing my eye socket with a knife.
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“I’m gutted I won’t be playing but I’m not bitter. These things happen in football. We’re good enough to beat Dunston in the replay tomorrow and get to Wembley.
“I’ll be there cheering the boys on the whole way, starting tomorrow, because we’re a close-knit bunch. I’m settled at Wisbech - I couldn’t ask to be part of a better dressing room.”
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The 23-year-old was playing his first game since undergoing surgery on a broken nasal septum (wall between nostrils) last December.
Committed Cartwright has had to breathe through his mouth while playing since suffering the internal nose injury against Cogenhoe in November 2010.
The defender said: “I’d been itching to play and I knew I was going to get a crack on the nose at some point but I wasn’t too bothered. I’m 100 per cent committed.
“I went to jockey their striker but my boot gave way and he caught me clean in the face with his elbow. It was a pure accident.
“As a centre-back you’ve got to be prepared to take a big elbow off a centre forward. I’d play tomorrow if I could - I’ll never stop sticking my head in where it hurts.”
Cartwright, who returned to work as a cable jointer on Monday, will have surgery next week.