CHIPPENHAM Town’s Rob Dean has been told that he’ll never play football again.
The 24-year-old, from Swindon, suffered a horrific knee dislocation in last month’s abandoned Southern League Premier Division clash against Hungerford Town at Bulpitt Lane and has spent the majority of the last 15 days in Swindon’s Great Western Hospital.
Dean has undergone two operations on his damaged knee, with the latest taking place on Wednesday, but Bluebirds manager Mark Collier has confirmed that the midfielder was told by surgeons that his career is expected to be over.
Chippenham’s players and board of directors were informed of their colleague’s desperate news yesterday and a collection for the Bluebirds man was held during last weekend’s home game against Biggleswade Town.
Dean, who works for Nationwide, joined Chippenham from Swindon Supermarine in November last year and had impressed during his spell at Hardenhuish Park, scoring seven goals in a Bluebirds shirt.
The midfielder has also previously played for Hellenic League outfit Highworth Town and Division One South and West Cirencester Town.
And Collier will have to pick his players up from the news that Dean will never play again as they make the long journey to Truro City.
Although the Bluebirds are eight points clear of the drop zone in the Premier Division, they will be keen to close the gap on their Cornish hosts, as they sit three places above them with four more points.
Chippenham will also be looking to bounce back from the 3-1 defeat to Biggleswade, while Truro come into the match on the back of a 2-1 home loss to Hungerford.
Meanwhile, Cirencester Town will looking to maintain their slim hopes of winning the Division One South and West title when they entertain Bishops Cleeve in a derby battle.
The Centurions ended their five-match winless run on Tuesday night as Lee Smith scored the only goal to sink play-off hopefuls Paulton Rovers.
That success moved Bryan Hughes’ men within five points of leaders Merthyr Town, however, Cirencester have now played the same number of games of the Welsh outfit.