sport news 'Without my seatbelt, I'd have been dead': Crawley FA Cup hero Nick Tsaroulla ...

The goal promises to live long in the memory. Control, strength, balance, an explosion of pace and a precise finish to spark the finest result in Crawley Town's 125-year history.

It was the opener in a stunning 3-0 win, a third-round classic to defy a chasm of 62 league places and humble Leeds United.

Yet Nick Tsaroulla's tearful post-match interviews hinted that this was about more than a 21-year-old thrilled to score his first goal and savour the FA Cup magic.

This was a moment of personal triumph, intense relief and reward for his indefatigable spirit — with just a tiny bit of 'up yours Tottenham' sprinkled on top. It might also prove a lesson for all young players when fate conspires against them.

Crawley Town's Nick Tsaroulla scored a wonderful opener in his side's 3-0 win against Leeds

Insurance Loans Mortgage Attorney Credit Lawyer

Crawley Town's Nick Tsaroulla scored a wonderful opener in his side's 3-0 win against Leeds

Tsaroulla was 18 in July 2017 and had just set out from his home in Essex to make the short drive to training at Spurs when his Audi A1 collided with an oncoming vehicle, a much larger Audi Q5.

'It wasn't pretty,' he said, recalling the moment after Sunday's victory. 'They were in a Q5, so they were three times the size and my car was a mess. The doctor said if I hadn't had my seatbelt on I would have died, definitely. I would have been dead.

'I wasn't even going that fast. I was coming round a mini-roundabout so it can't have been that fast. I was blessed to be saved by the seatbelt but it caused an injury to my stomach. It just needed time. But, unfortunately, with football clubs like Spurs, time goes against you.'

For 10 months, medical experts were baffled by the precise nature of the injury and the source of Tsaroulla's pain.

Left-back Tsaroulla gave a tearful post-match interview discussing his comeback from injury

Left-back Tsaroulla gave a tearful post-match interview discussing his comeback from injury

'They tried everything and nothing worked,' he said. 'It was an abdominal pain, a neuropathic pain, and no one could figure it out. For a year I was completely out of football.'

When he tried to venture back on to the pitch, there was another setback — cellulitis, a serious skin infection.

'I developed really bad blisters on my feet,' said Tsaroulla. 'A lot of it was to do with the nerve system because I developed a burning pain in my feet. I couldn't put on football boots or run.

Insurance Loans Mortgage Attorney Credit Lawyer

'The blister was infected and

read more from dailymail.....

PREV sport news Is the Mesut Ozil Arsenal saga about to FINALLY end? Fenerbahce 'reach an ...
NEXT Even the small part of the SCG Test that happens within the boundary line will ...