Harpenden star sports photographer suffers crash trauma

PUBLISHED: 09:58 03 July 2014 | UPDATED: 09:58 03 July 2014

Star jockey Frankie Dettori sends Harpenden's Marc Aspland a get well message. Photo courtesy @MoaningMeerkat

Star jockey Frankie Dettori sends Harpenden's Marc Aspland a get well message. Photo courtesy @MoaningMeerkat

@MoaningMeerkat

High-profile sports stars including tennis greats Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray are rallying behind a local photographer who suffered a brain haemorrhage after a cycling accident.

Harpenden's Marc Aspland, The Times' chief (staff) sports photographer. Photo courtesy of The TimesHarpenden's Marc Aspland, The Times' chief (staff) sports photographer. Photo courtesy of The Times

But it is still a mystery how Marc Aspland, chief sports photographer for The Times, suffered injuries so serious that his painstaking recuperation has kept him away from work for nearly three months.

The 50 year old, an award-winning photographer used to snapping the likes of football, rugby and tennis stars, was taken to Luton and Dunstable Hospital in the early hours of Friday, April 11.

A spokesman for the East of England Ambulance Trust said that they were called to Ox Lane at 12.50am by a passerby.

He said that Marc was treated for severe head injuries, adding, “it wasn’t clear whether there had been a collision, but he was on the side of the road and couldn’t remember what happened”.

Marc was later found to have suffered a brain haemorrhage, nerve damage and two broken collar bones.

Speaking to the Herts Advertiser yesterday while recuperating at home in Harpenden, Marc said that specialists have told him his injuries are similar to those suffered in a traffic collision. He suspects he might have been the victim of a hit-and-run.

Although Marc has no memory of the accident or being in hospital, he has managed to piece some things together, thanks to his friends and medical records.

He had been playing five-a-side football on April 10 with friends at St George’s School in Harpenden, which his children attend.

The keen cyclist biked back through Ox Lane. He was not wearing a helmet at the time.

He said: “I have no memory from between a week before the accident and three weeks afterwards.”

His left collarbone has since been operated on, with his surgeon piecing it together with plates and screws.

Marc was told that the impact was so severe his bones had shattered and been driven backwards into his body, and as a result he has also suffered nerve damage.

Apart from suffering memory loss, he also has problems with speech and has dizzy spells. Marc continues to consult a neurosurgeon.

He has criticised Herts Police for failing to attend the scene, saying that because of problems with memory loss as a result of the accident, he was unable to contact them immediately afterwards.

A spokesman for the police confirmed that they had been informed of the accident but had not investigated.

Marc has, however, had plenty of support from well-wishers across the sporting world.

Fellow sports photographers have collected messages from leading sports stars, including Frankie Dettori, who have posed with #gwsmarc – get well soon, Marc – messages for photographs posted on social media.

Marc said: “Photographers have asked people to help cheer me up, and because I have photographed Rafael and Andy, they posted a message. It is overwhelming, but having a brain trauma, and just knowing that people are thinking about you has helped.”

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