Top-10 Worst Sports Injuries Of All Time

Worst Sports Injuries Of All Time
Photo credit: Charles Trainor Jr./Miami Herald/TNS

One of the hallmark of sports that every sportsman looks forward to, is claiming the grand prize. To achieve this, months of vigorous practice is prioritized, with athletes training in some of the harshest conditions to improve their mental will power, master the act of adaptation and prepare for the worst. In a bid to claim the ultimate glory in sports, aside from this trainings, sports stars sometimes resort to deadly measures to ensure their dream comes true, which has resulted in several unfortunate career-ending injuries. As we bring to you, the worst sports injuries of all time, it is important to remember that injuries are a common occurrence in sports, but when athletes push themselves to their limits, these injuries take a nasty turn. We take you down memory lane as we bring the emotions of sadness that engulfed these athletes.

1. Maurice Stokes

Photo of Maurice Stokes
Maurice Stokes. (Photo credit: NBA Photo Library / Getty Images)

In the 1950s, the name, Maurice Stokes will command attention in the NBA. At the height of his career, Maurice Stokes won the Rookie of the year and was a three times NBA All-star. While playing in the last game of the 1957/58 regular NBA season for the Rochester Royals (now Sacramento Kings), he got his head stuck in the basket after he drove to the basket, he fell and landed on his head.

Maurice became unconscious and was revived. He continued to play though. Three days after the accident, he reported ill and had a seizure. Maurice Stokes became permanently paralyzed. It was revealed that he suffered from Encephalopathy. He communicated by blinking his eyes and was mentally alert. Twelve years later, he died at the age of 36. A real loss to the world of basketball.

2. Trent McCleary

Photo of Trent McCleary
Trent McCleary. (Photo credit: Robert Laberge/Getty Images)

At the dawn of the 21st century, Trent McCleary was one of the names that trended in the works of professional hockey. The career of the man who played for the Montreal Canadiens came to a painful end when he attempted to block a slapshot by dropping to the ice. Unfortunately, the shot hit his throat and thus fractured his larynx, which resulted in a collapsed lungs. 

Unable to breathe, medical staff quickly created a pathway in his lungs, until he was rushed to a hospital where a tracheostomy was performed on him. Following his injury, he attempted to make a comeback but was advised against it. Trent McCleary had to call it quits on his 7-year hockey career.

3. Maureen Connolly

Photo of Maureen Connolly
Maureen (Little Mo) Connolly. (Photo credit:

An American tennis player, Maureen Connolly is also known as Little Mo captivated America with her tennis antics. During the summit of her career, she won nine Grand Slam singles tournaments and became the first woman to win four Grand slams in a calendar year. After winning her third consecutive Wimbledon title, Maureen Connolly was involved in an accident in which her horse pinned her against a concrete mixer truck after the horse was startled by the truck. The accident resulted in a fractured fibula which ended her career.

4. Reggie Brown

Reggie Brown
Reggie Brown

One of the most painful things to happen to a young athlete is for your career to come to an abrupt end as soon as it just kicked off. Reggie Brown spent just two seasons as a professional NFL player before the sunset on his career. After engaging in a tackle in the last game for the Detroit Lion in the 1997 season. Following the tackle, he was unable to stand for 17 minutes. It was later revealed that he suffered a spinal cord contusion. Though no muscle was damaged, Brown was unable to continue what would have been a wonderful NFL career.

5. Jeff Beukeboom

Photo of Jeff Beukeboom
Jeff Beukeboom (Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

American football is a very physically intensive sport, and when there’s a brawl in such very physical sport, you can only imagine the result. Well, to cut short your imagination, a perfect instance of what results from an NFL brawl was what occurred when Matt Johnson of the Los Angeles King delivered a sucker punch to Jeff Beukeboom of the New York Rangers. 

Although at the time of the accident, it seemed not to be a big deal but after Jeff Beukeboom got involved in another collision he began complaining of nausea, memory loss and recurring headaches. He was diagnosed with a post-traumatic concussion and instructed not to play again. Jeff Beukeboom still suffered from the post-traumatic concussion after retirement.

6. Dean Ashton

Photo of Dean Ashton
Dean Ashton of West Ham. (Photo credit: Telegraph)

Following his incredible rise as an England striker of great potentials, Ashton was involved in an ankle injury in a training session while playing for West Ham. His injury saw him feature in no game in the 2008/09 season. Ashton had to retire after he could not completely recover from that injury.

7. Kirby Puckett

Photo of Kirby Puckett
Kirby Puckett (Photo credit:

One of the best players to have played in the MLB, Kirby Puckett had an amazing career which saw him emerge as the all-time Minnesota Twins lead in hits, runs and total bases. The 10 times MLB All-star had his jaw broken by a fastball. The injury saw him play in the Grapefruit league, until he woke up in March 1996, unable to see in his right eye. After three surgeries, his vision was not restored and he was forced to retire.

8. Daunte Culpepper

Daunte Culpepper
Daunte Culpepper (Photo credit: Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images)

Another NFL player whose career was unfortunately stopped by injury, Daunte Culpepper, who played for the Minnesota Vikings at the time of the injury, suffered a knee injury in which three out of four of ligaments and had to be rehabilitated. He later attempted to make a comeback, but his knee constantly proved to be a challenge. He eventually retired in 2008. 

9. Steve Young

Steve Young
Steve Young (Photo credit: Unkown)

An incredible career brought to an end, Steve Young who is a 3 time Super Bowl Champion and 2 time NFL MVP, had his last season in 1999 after the effect of multiple concussions he has had throughout his career began telling on him. He was diagnosed with post-concussion syndrome. In a match against the Arizona Cardinals, he was violently tackled and suffered a concussion which saw him out of action for the rest of the season. He suffered post-concussion syndrome and was forced to retire.

10. Sterling Sharpe

Sterling Sharpe
Sterling Sharpe (Photo credit: Unkown)

He was just another outstanding wide receiver who played in the NFL, with lots of individual achievements to his name, but it all came to an end after the 1994 regular season where he suffered a neck injury, one of the worst. He was thus immediately advised to discontinue playing the rigorous sport.

What do you think about these worst sports injuries in history? please share with us in the comments section below.


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