March 16 unlucky for him but in between St Albans City’s Zane Banton surprised and delighted with progress

Zane Banton in action for St Albans City against Dartford. Picture: JIM STANDEN

Zane Banton in action for St Albans City against Dartford. Picture: JIM STANDEN - Credit: Archant

The Friday the 13th movie franchise took 12 goes at convincing us how unlucky that particular date is - Zane Banton needed just two occurrences of March 16 to put a black mark against that one.

This year that date saw all football postponed for a month because of the coronavirus. Almost exactly one year earlier, the St Albans City forward was being whisked off to hospital with a broken leg following at game at Chippenham Town.

“Its madness isn’t it,” he reflected this week. “I thought the leg break it was just a bit of bad luck but now this has happened. I’m definitely going to remember this and put a big circle round the date in the calendar.”

The former Luton Town youngster has been at Saints now for three years and his almost miraculous return to football this season has seen him take his total number of appearances for the club into three figures.

He now stands on 122 with 31 goals having scored seven times in 33 run outs this campaign.

That figure is a total shock to the popular forward considering what happened in the weeks and months after his leg break.

“I had fears of not being able to play again,” he said. “I had three different opinions in the first few days and I didn’t want my leg or ankle to set in the wrong place.

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“After the surgery it was crazy, just months at home doing nothing and when I got the all-clear to get the cast off it was like learning to walk again.

“I still had doubts up to that point and thought if I was struggling to walk, how was I going to run and twist and turn.

“I’ve never once had an injury like that.

“But then everything started to speed up. I had three or four people saying I wouldn’t be playing before November looking at how I was moving.

“I was back in September and had a few usual problems, like stiffness and a bit of aching, and I still had surgeons and doctors telling me not to be surprised if I had set-backs.

“But I’ve gone through with no problems.

“Hearing all the different opinions and having all those complications at the beginning to not have anything.

“It’s gone from one extreme to the other.

“I never expected to come back and play a full season almost and have the run of games I’ve had.

“I’ve surprised myself.”