Matt Jansen: Glory Beckoned, then Everything went Dark

Last season, our Socios at got an exclusive interview with Matt Jansen. For the first time, here’s the full episode.

In part one, you’ll hear how Matt was a thoroughbred centre-forward with a cultured left foot – and no little courage. After spells at his hometown club of Carlisle United and then Crystal Palace, he signed for Blackburn. He scored the first goal and set up the winner in Rovers’ 2-1 League Cup final victory over Tottenham Hotspur in 2002. Everything was going brilliantly, until he was cruelly denied a place in Sven-Göran Eriksson’s England squad for the 2002 World Cup.

Instead of heading to Japan and Korea that summer, he went to Rome with his future wife. England could wait – he felt invincible, the happiest man in the world. And then disaster struck. Matt was so seriously injured in a scooter accident that the paramedics thought he had died. After six days in a coma, he began his rehabilitation and made a full physical recovery. But when he went back onto the pitch everything he had previously done automatically became laboured. The sound of the crowd sighing added to the agony.

Thanks for sharing, Matt.


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