Sir Alex Ferguson confirmed the worst fears of Man Utd fans when he said that ex-Leeds Utd striker, Alan Smith had broken his leg and went on to describe it as
"the worst injury I've ever seen."
Alan Smith suffered the freak accidental injury in the 88th minute of Manchester Utd's 0-1 defeat by Liverpool in the fifth round FA Cup tie,
Substitute Smith had only been on the pitch briefly when he enthusiastically threw himself in front of a Liverpool shot. He blocked the shot with his right leg but seemed to land awkwardly on his left ankle/leg. He immediately signalled to his goalkeeper to summon assistance and both Liverpool and Manchester United staff attended to him. Alan was carried off the pitch, after five minutes of on-field treatment, with the leg in an inflated protective sleeve.
The irony that he suffered the injury at Anfield will be lost on Man Utd fans - but it was at Anfiled, as an 18 year-old substitute, that an unknown Alan Smith came on and scored with his first touch in Premiership football and sent Leeds on their way to a rare win at Anfield and himself onto iconic status with the Leeds faithful.
Read the earlier story that broke the news about his injury - it was so popular it crashed our server!