Alan Smith never properly recovered from THAT broken leg in 2006

Table of Contents
Former Manchester United player Alan Smith has spoken about the long-term damage caused by the broken leg he suffered in 2006.

Embed from Getty Images

In an FA Cup tie at Liverpool on February 2006, Smith charged down a John Arne Riise free-kick which left him with a broken leg and dislocated ankle.

Legendary United manager Sir Alex Ferguson described the incident as one of the worst injuries he had seen in his entire career.

Smith made his comeback for United seven months later after his gruesome injury, but has now admitted he never fully recovered from the injury over 12 years ago.

Speaking in an interview with The Mirror, the 37-year-old said that he continued playing through the pain barrier because he still loved football.

I knew with the injury it would be touch and go whether I could carry on playing - the surgeon said that.

It would have been easier to walk away and people remember you as a top Premier League player. But I didn't want that, because I loved playing football. Your love of it makes you go through the pain barrier.

Most of people I have played with, and managers, have respected me for staying in football when it would have been easy to walk away. But I dropped down to the Championship, dropped down to League One and dropped down to League Two.

Loads of people would say to me, "Why I am bothering?" Whether I was earning £500-a-week or nothing, if people felt I could still contributed I wanted to keep playing.

The good people I met lower down the leagues probably drove me on to stay in football longer. But by the end, the day-to-day training was doing more harm than good. I couldn't compete at a level I felt I could easily before. I get out of bed and can't walk properly, my ankle is stiff all the time.

Smith still had an eventful career after his injury, winning the Premier League with United in 2007 and the Championship with Newcastle United in 2010.

He left Newcastle for MK Dons in 2011 and retired at the end of last season after four years with Notts County.

Don't forget to join us on Twitter, Facebook, Youtube and Instagram