The rugby world is rallying around former Preston Grasshoppers player Billy Woof, who had part of his leg amputated after playing in a vital promotion match.
The popular centre, who played several seasons for the Preston club before leaving earlier this year, was injured representing Birkenhead Park against Penrith in an end-of-season play-off fixture.
Hoppers officials and former teammates were shocked as Woof, 24, suffered what has been described as a ‘life-changing’ injury.
In a statement the Lightfoot Green club said: “Our thoughts are with Billy and his family at this difficult time.
“Billy had left Lightfoot Green to return to Birkenhead Park during the 2016/17 season after being a first XV regular over the past few years.
“As a club, we will be contacting the Woof family, when appropriate, to discuss what support we can provide to help Billy, both now and in the future.
“We are sure that everyone at Lightfoot Green and the wider rugby community will want to wish Billy well as he begins his recovery and no doubt rally around to provide their support.”
Hoppers’ official Ken Moore added: “Billy was very popular at the club and the news is very sad and has come as a shock.
“The main reason he left us to go back to play for Birkenhead Park was that he was a student at the time and found the travelling difficult.”
Birkenhead Park said that Woof had suffered a dislocated knee in the closing stages of the match with Penrith.
The club added: “Sadly due to complications, Billy has had his lower leg amputated.
“He is currently recovering well in hospital and is in good spirits.
“Having already started his rehab. Billy is being supported by his family, girlfriend and friends at this time.
“We ask that you please respect the family’s privacy while Billy is in the early stages of recovery.”