Nonleague manager wakes from coma after being told his side won

Posted by Chris Wright

Two weeks ago, while travelling home from work, the manager of nonleague side Larkhall Athletic FC was involved in a horrific head-on car crash that left him with a ruptured artery in his heart, 16 crushed ribs, a punctured lung, a broken sternum, a dislocated and broken hip and pelvis, and a fractured leg.

After being rushed to hospital and undergoing multiple operations (including major surgery on his heart and having his rib cage wired back together), doctors put Wayne Thorne -- who had just begun his second year in charge of the Bath-based club -- into a coma as he began his long road to recovery.

Thorne, 33, spent over a week in the medically induced coma but opened his eyes for the very first time when his brother Gary (who briefly played semiprofessionally with Bath Athletic in the early 2000s) visited him in his hospital bed and updated him on Larkhall's winning start to the season.

Wayne's wife, Mandy, told the Bath Chronicle:

"Football and sport and being active, that has been his life, so when he was in his coma we were told to talk to him.

"On the first Saturday, Larkhall had a game and me and his brother told him the score and he opened his eyes.

"I know studies have shown that they can hear you, and me and his brother truly believe he heard us. It was brilliant to see, because he absolutely loves his football and is so dedicated to Larkhall Athletic."

Wayne himself also managed a few words in the Chronicle, thanking the many friends and family members who had visited him in hospital during his convalescence and also giving a mention to the true love of his life -- which, unfortunately for Mandy, appears to be 11 hairy blokes in matching blue shirts and shorts:

"All my love and respect goes out to every part of my family who over the last two weeks have been put through hell, waiting for me through operations and results and being by my bedside every day.

"Hope to see everyone at [Larkhall Athletic] soon, but in the meantime it would be good to get a good local attendance behind the lads next Saturday for the FA Cup tie against Tiverton."

Good to see the extreme physical and emotional trauma he's suffered over the past fortnight hasn't affected his priorities in any way!

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