By Chris Wright
Sunday’s Austrian lower league tie between FC Notsch and FC Sillian had to be abandoned before kick-off when a freak lightning strike left several players incapacitated.
According to local reports, the heavens opened and the pitch was engulfed in an almighty rain storm as the players warmed-up, with the coaches of both sides instructing their teams to return to the dressing room to let the adverse weather subside before starting the game.
However, as the teams were making their way back inside, a bolt of lightning struck the pitch and injured eight players – two of them severely.
Firstly, FC Sillian’s Alexander Bohm was left motionless on the pitch after the strike and was taken to intensive care where he thankfully made a full recovery – later describing his ordeal in an interview with a local news crew thus:
“Thankfully, I was only brushed by the lightning. I can not tell you how it felt.
“I felt a tingling sensation all over and I can still remember that someone said that it smells smoky.”
Sadly, however, one of Bohm’s team-mates, Thomas Walder, was not quite so lucky – bearing the brunt of the lightning after reportedly being struck directly in the chest, suffering an immediate cardiac arrest as a result.
Along with Bohm, 24-year-old Walder was resuscitated on the pitch before being airlifted to nearby Klagenfurt hospital where, as far as we can tell, he remains in a medically-induced coma.
Pies would like to think we can speak on behalf of most of our readers when we say ‘Get well soon, Thomas’.
(Photo via 101GG)