Wrexham striker Paul Mullin feared death when puncturing his lung in a friendly against Manchester United.
United played Wrexham in a pre-season friendly in San Diego on July 26 and the game was intended to give academy youngsters minutes against last season’s National League champions, who are now owned by Hollywood stars.
But unfortunately, the game was marred when Nathan Bishop collided with Mullin in a challenge that punctured his lung.
Mullin required oxygen on the pitch following the collision and he was substituted after a lengthy stoppage. Bishop was only yellow-carded and Under-21 manager Travis Binnion conceded that he could have been sent off.
Bishop, who has since joined Sunderland on a permeant deal, visited the Wrexham dressing room after the game to try and reach out to Mullin and the club’s co-owner Ryan Reynolds subsequently thanked him for his concern.
In a column for The Athletic this week, Mullin reflected on the incident in San Diego and discussed the severity of the clash.
He wrote: “I was trying to breathe in but nothing was happening. I couldn’t get air into my lung. That’s when I knew it was bad. In that struggle for breath, with my lips turning blue, I accepted that this could be it for me. That’s how it felt. I couldn’t breathe properly for a few minutes.
“I was thinking about my little boy, Albi. I hate being away from him and my partner Mollie for too long but I had told myself it was only two weeks and that I’d be back home soon. It ended up being much longer, but I’m so thankful it wasn’t worse.
“I remember, a few seconds earlier, getting my head to the ball and then going down. For someone like me who will do that kind of thing again and again, being winded is something I’m used to.
“It usually lasts around 10 seconds and is never nice. Only this time I couldn’t shake it.”
Mullin is still sidelined but Wrexham expect to have him back ‘within weeks not months’.