Louth’s Darren Clarke ‘a lucky man’ after horror head injury

Former Louth star Darren Clarke believes he was fortunate to avoid serious brain injury following a horror blow in a club game.

The talented forward was knocked unconscious during a county senior championship clash for St Mary’s on Sunday and was removed by ambulance to Drogheda hospital.

An opposing player from the Dreadnots club who collided with Clarke’s head received a straight red card.

Clarke, part of the Louth panel until early last year, underwent CT scans and X-rays before being released from hospital with the all clear on Monday evening.

“It was a very scary thing,” said Clarke. “I just remember waking up on the pitch, seeing a lot of commotion around me and being put in an ambulance.

“I’m a very lucky man because from talking to the doctors they said they couldn’t believe there wasn’t more damage.

“They reckon when you get a blow to the head like I got, there’s normally some sort of damage, bleeding or swelling. I seem to have escaped everything.”

Clarke scored four points in the game but said he has no recall of the blow which led to him being knocked out.

“I went up for a ball with another fella, the ball was flicked to one side and the last thing I remember is being on my hunkers watching where the ball went,” he continued.

“It was frightening for family members, for my mother and father. I can only imagine what they were thinking when all that commotion was going on.

“I don’t really remember things clearly until I was in the ward that evening.

“I woke up on the pitch at the time and knew something was wrong but it was a bit of a blur really.”

St Mary’s lost the Dreadnots tie 1-15 to 1-11 but still advanced to the quarter-finals of the county championship.

“There are protocols for returning to play after concussion and I’m obviously abiding by them,” said Clarke.

“But please God I’ll get back for the quarter-finals.

“I’m just lucky that it wasn’t a lot worse really.”

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