An unlucky football fan has been presented with a hardhat by her favourite team after being struck in the head by a wayward kick for the second time – in the SAME SEAT.
Oxford United superfan Val Kemish was first hit in the face by a rogue kick from winger Alex Rhodes last season.
Then when she took her eyes off the pitch for a split second ahead of a United match two weeks ago she was in for another surprise – as she was pelted by a warm-up shot from goalkeeper Simon Eastwood.
But loyal season-ticket holder Val, from Chalgrove, Oxford, was still not put off showing up to watch her favourite side and dutifully attended their next match against Morecambe last week.
She was thrilled when she entered the stadium ahead of the game and was greeted by Eastwood – who had brought her a hardhat signed by the entire team and a bouquet of flowers.
She said: ”The first time it happened I was reading the programme, which is something I’ve never done, and the ball hit me.
”This time I was deliberately making sure I was watching the pitch but I’d just turned because a friend of my husband was coming up the stairs and…whack!
”What an example to the younger generation that he has bothered to make sure I was OK. He was a thoroughly nice young man. I was a bit stunned when they gave me the flowers.”
Goalkeeper Eastwood rushed to Mrs Kemish’s side after she was struck in the head by his wayward shot on August 28th.
But she was so shaken by the strike that after being treated by St John’s Ambulance workers she was taken home from Kassam Stadium, missing the match against Accrington Stanley.
Apologetic Eastwood was so ”gutted” he’d made his fan miss the game he organised for the entire United side to sign a hardhat for Mrs Kemish – to protect her from future shots in her unlucky seat.
He presented her with the gift ahead of the match against Morecambe last week, along with teammate midfielder Sam Deering, and a bouquet of yellow and blue flowers – the team colours.
Eastwood, who joined United in the summer, said: ”I rushed to check she was okay immediately after the ball hit her, but when I heard she missed the game I was gutted.
”The least we could do was some flowers, and hopefully she won’t need the hard hat any more. I think I might stick to saving shots in the warm up from now on.”
Mrs Kemish was so thrilled by the gesture she has sworn she will not change her season ticket for another seat.