Berwick Rangers attacker Ousman See has been dealt a double blow in recent weeks; as well as suffering a horrendous injury against Montrose, the forward is also now unable to work due to this unfortunate accident, which has left the player worried about his financial situation. Thankfully, Scottish football and the wider footballing family have rallied round to support See in his hour of need.
See has always been a part-time professional, working his way up the ranks over the course of his career.
“I was at Cowdenbeath for a bit when I was younger, probably when I was around 14 – that was when they were doing well in the Championship. Then I just started playing with my mates a bit at Tynecastle in the East of Scotland League before moving to Selkirk for a season. After that, I moved to Edinburgh City and won promotion with them, coming up to the SPFL as the first club to win through the pyramid play-offs.
I knew players at League Two and League One level that I felt I was better than, but, I just hadn’t been given my chance to prove myself. I knew I could take the step up and when I got the chance, I made sure I had the desired fitness to play well at this level with Edinburgh City.”
See scored 7 goals for the Capital club last term, which sealed the tall striker a move to Forfar Athletic in the summer, under the stewardship of Gary Bollan and then latterly, Jim Weir.
“I was happy with my own form last season as for the majority of matches last term, we were struggling to pick up points. I was playing every week and kind of making a name for myself as when I scored my goals, it was within a short period of time. I was happy and really enjoyed my time at Edinburgh City and what we achieved in my two seasons at the club.
I felt like I could handle League One just as good, I didn’t feel there’d be a problem. It just never worked out for me at Forfar, due to a couple of incidents that happened – but, that is just the way things go in football.”
Ousman moved on to Berwick in the January Transfer Window, but, on the 14th of April, See’s 2017/18 camapign went from bad to worse at the home of Montrose, Links Park.
“I’ve picked up the ball on the half-way line and I have tried to drive forward at their defence and one of the Montrose players, I think it might have been Terry Masson, tackled me: he came in from the back of me but caught me to the side with a slide tackle, but, my foot has got caught under his leg as he slid in. I was still standing up but I knew straight away my leg was broken because my foot was facing the other way; I also heard a crunching noise too. It was horrible. The thing was, though, that the referee waved play on so everyone was still running about and nobody realised I was badly injured as I lay on the ground. Thankfully someone noticed I was in discomfort.
It is a broken tibia and a dislocated ankle that I have. I’ve got 7 more weeks of wearing the moon boot – I can’t put any weight on it at all right now. After that, I can then begin my rehab and hopefully get walking again. I am just having to take lots of painkillers right now as it is so sore: it is still swollen and bruised. I was at the hospital on Wednesday and I got x-rayed to make sure the screws were still alright. I also got the stitches checked before getting it all re-plastered.”
See awaits medical assistance at Links Park.
See had to wait nearly 50 minutes for an ambulance to arrive and the game was stopped for a total of 70 minutes before the striker was taken to Ninewells Hospital in Dundee.
“The people that are with me [in the picture above] are not the paramedics, they are just the first-aiders who are trying to keep everything under control while we waited. That was the worst bit about it all, that I was lying on the pitch for such a long time waiting to be treated. I was in a lot of pain and I knew I needed to get to the hospital as soon as possible. I was worried about the length of time it was taking; I felt it might have been getting worse the longer I lay there. I would expect an ambulance to be at the game, to be honest.
At my previous club, Edinburgh City, there were always paramedics at the matches in case of emergencies such as this one. It was a nice experience, but, I have since received a formal apology via a letter from the Scottish Ambulance Service and it is time for me to move forward and look towards getting back out on to the pitch.”
Due to Ousman being part-timer, he is also a tiler by trade. However, this injury will prevent him from working as well as playing football.
“I kind of look at football right now as an opportunity to make it my job; I have always wanted to play full-time and I am continually working hard to allow me the chance to play at that level. It is currently a hobby but it is a hobby I have with the end goal of turning it into my career. Until I got injured near the end of last season, I thought I might have got that chance as I had teams such as Livingston, St Mirren and Morton all interested in me.
Going to a game on a Saturday, you don’t really expect to get an injury like this. But, basically, I am not going to be able to work for the next 2 to 3 months. I will still have my job at the end of it, but, it is difficult that I need to turn down work throughout that period, which isn’t good for my business either.”
Since launching the appeal just over a week ago, Berwick have raised £2500 for their stricken forward.
“I was in the hospital and I had just woken up from surgery. I noticed my gaffer, Robbie Horn, had been trying to contact me and he told me that I wasn’t to worry and that the club were going to try raise some money for me. At the time, I didn’t think much of it, but, what I didn’t realise is by the time I got this message, they’d already started the page! When I first checked, it had over £1000 donated. I was in shock as I wasn’t expecting anything – I’m not going to lie, I was worried a little about how I was going to make money, so, this definitely took a big strain off my back. It is a fantastic gesture, one that I genuinely never expected. I can only thank the club, the manager and the players for helping to get this started and to all the donators so far.”
Ousman is now out of hospital and recuperating at home.
Ousman emphasises how imperative it is that football clubs do support their players and staff, particularly at part-time level.
“I feel that if you get hurt or receive a bad injury like I did, but you have that support around you, it makes it so much easier to come back from adversity. If you didn’t have these folk supporting you, your head can easily go into a bit of a mess and you might end up going in the wrong direction from where you want to be. Berwick have definitely helped me keep my head up and positively look towards the future.
I have 12 months left on my contract at Shielfield Park and I think I am quite lucky in that fact. It isn’t all about money, but, I will still be getting paid over the summer while I recover and then once I am ready to go again, I know in my own mind that I have a club I can train with straight away. It gives me the motivation to keep going and make sure I get back out on to the pitch so I can repay everyone for everything they have done for me. It is quite emotional, to be honest, to see the amount of people who are trying to help and willing to donate. I have had a look at the list and I barely know any of the names of the people who have pledged money – I think I know around 10 names! It is crazy to see how many people care about me and my situation: it is good, it is like a big family we have. It means so much to my family and I that there are people who are willing to help us out at such a difficult period in my life. I just want to say a massive thanks to everyone as this has really helped me get over what has happened and I am ready to push on and make the most of my career when I am back fit again.”
If you would like to donate and help Ousman out, you can visit his JustGiving Page, below:
The Berwick forward has been overawed with the amount of support he has been shown since his 14th April injury.
All Pictures courtesy of Ousman See, who kindly allowed this website to use these photos within this article.
Jordanburtfootball.com would like to wish Ousman all the best in his recovery; I hope to see you back out on the pitch scoring goals soon!