Coventry’s Callum O’Hare: ‘I was stuck in bed for two months, couldn’t move’

Before FA Cup quarter-final the midfielder discusses Wembley, playing Gaelic football and still practising in the park with his dad

When Callum O’Hare stepped up his rehabilitation from a serious knee injury last August, Coventry’s physios recognised the need to temper his enthusiasm. After eight monotonous months, he was inevitably excited to tie the laces on his boots and hit the grass. He felt “fresh out of the jailhouse” after countless days spent watching teammates train from an exercise bike in the gym, but was told to expect a fine if he began kicking the balls too soon upon his return.

“The staff know how much I love football,” he says. “If there’s a ball in front of me, I’ll always play with it, no matter what it is: a tennis ball, a little floater – anything. Or I’ll make socks into a ball. They were like: ‘You’re not quite at the stage to be kicking balls.’ My first jog around the pitch, one of the players tried to pass me the ball and I just had to leave it. It was heartbreaking. ‘Sorry, I can’t.’”

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