The Radio Times logo

Ronnie O'Sullivan and the sports stars who played with broken bones

O'Sullivan won snooker's UK Championship with a broken ankle this weekend. Who else played through the pain barrier?

Published: Monday, 8th December 2014 at 1:41 pm

"Rocket" Ronnie O'Sullivan won a fifth UK Snooker Championship title this weekend despite playing with a broken ankle for over a week.


From grimace to grin, here are some of the other sports stars who didn't let a little thing like a snapped limb stop them from carrying on.

Ronnie O'Sullivan

O'Sullivan's challenge in this year's UK Snooker Championship looked to be over before it had begun when he broke his ankle running just before the tournament started.

"I wanted to see what happened. I was hobbling about and I can't get on a shot properly. If it doesn't improve I am not sure I will play my next match," he said after the first round. 10 days later he was lifting the trophy.

Bert Trautmann

Manchester City's German goalkeeper played the final 17 minutes of the 1956 FA Cup final with a broken neck after throwing himself at the feet of Birmingham's Peter Murphy to deny a goal.

Back then, substitutes were not permitted and the German played on, picking up a winner's medal later that afternoon and only finding out three days later that he had dislocated five vertebrae and cracked one in half. Check out his heroics from 3 minutes 25 below.

Paul Terry

In 1984, West Indies pace bowler Winston Davies broke England cricketer Paul Terry's arm during a Test match. Game over? Not quite. The next innings Terry returned, plastered arm stuffed in his jumper, ready to help his partner Allan Lamb reach his century.

Rory Best

Rugby hooker Rory Best put his body on the line during Ireland's last-gasp defeat to New Zealand in 2013. Best, wearing number 2 in the clip below, broke his arm after 15 minutes during a tackle. Rather than backing out, he was in the defensive line for the very next All Blacks wave.


Michael Bush

Former Chicago Bears running back Michael Bush played most of the 2012 NFL season with a broken shoulder. "That's just me," he said when asked about how he coped. "Once I broke my leg (in college) … if it ain't my leg and it ain't my feet and I can still walk around and run, I'm going to play.''


Sponsored content