09:32AM, Friday 25 October 2019
Credit: Jez Talbot
The head coach of Slough Jets wants heavier punishments for foul play after one of his top players was hospitalised with a serious head injury.
Sean Norris, 20, was knocked unconscious when he was cross-checked in the closing minutes of his side’s away game against the Oxford City Stars on Sunday, October 13.
The promising ice hockey star was diag-nosed with ‘severe concussion’ and a ‘traumatic brain injury’ and now faces a spell on the sidelines as well as time off work.
A GoFundMe page, set up to support Sean while he is out of work, has now raised almost £3,000.
Head coach Lukas Smital said: “The opponent hit him on the side of the head with his stick and he was in a really bad state.
“It was one of the worst incidents that I’ve seen in my life and I’ve played long enough to say this kind of thing.
“You can’t stop it because these sort of things will happen in the sport but players need to understand there should be consequences for their actions.”
Cross-checking, where players used a stick to obstruct their opponent, is commonly punished with a minor penalty.
Donations have been made from across the ice hockey community with Basingstoke Bison, of the National Ice Hockey League National Division, holding a bucket collection in aid of the young prospect from Bracknell.
Lukas added: “He’s going to be off for some time so it was a really nice touch from the hockey community and hopefully this contribution will take the financial pressure off him.
“By the looks of it, it’s more serious than any other concussion that I’ve seen and we need to take it seriously and not rush him back because it’s not just for hockey, but for his life.”
A spokesman for Oxford City Stars said the incident was not malicious.
He said: “Ice hockey is a physical sport and it is never nice to see a player suffer an injury.
“The incident was not malicious which was reflected by the player receiving the minimum two-minute penalty.
“It is disappointing Slough feel it was intentional. Unfortunately Sean ducked and so took contact to the head, rather than his upper body.”
Visit www.gofundme.com/f/sean-norris-fundraiser to donate.
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