PROFESSIONAL CRICKETERS' TRUST PRESS RELEASE
Trust invests in specially adapted vehicle following life-changing accident.
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Former Yorkshire all-rounder Jamie Hood is to take delivery of a specially adapted vehicle which will increase his mobility thanks to the Professional Cricketers’ Trust.
Hood, now 34, was about to start his third season on Yorkshire’s staff when he broke his neck in a car accident in Cape Town early in 1998. The accident, which happened when a tyre blew out at low speed, left Hood with no mobility below his neck and wheelchair-bound ever since.
Despite his injuries, Hood remains actively involved in cricket as a coach at his local club Redcar and as a spectator at Yorkshire matches at Headingley and Scarborough.
The specially adapted vehicle is similar to the one that the Trust provided for Winston Davis, the former West Indies, Glamorgan and Northamptonshire fast bowler, and will enable Hood to be driven more easily by his carers.
“It’s unbelievable for me. I am the type of person who never likes to stay in. I like to be always out doing things, living life to the full,” Hood said.
“Without a vehicle I would be stuffed. I still like to watch local cricket every Saturday. My carers take me over to Headingley and Scarborough to watch Yorkshire once or twice a season to catch up with old friends and old team-mates.
“Without the vehicle I wouldn’t be able to go out. With this vehicle I can drive my wheelchair straight into the back and away we go.”
Hood will be driven to the Kia Oval in the new vehicle on Saturday August 22 for Cricket United Day on the third day of the fifth Ashes Test. Cricket United Day brings together the Trust with two more cricket charities, Lord’s Taverners and Chance to Shine, for a joint fund-raising appeal.
Hood has already been filmed by Sky Sports for a feature that will be screened during the Test match highlighting the work of the Trust.
“The PCA have been brilliant. They have bought me equipment for physiotherapy that helps keep my joints and posture in a good position.”
“They have also paid for five holidays abroad which I would not be able to have without their support. They have been absolutely fantastic.”
Hood’s accident happened at the start of the year which he hoped would be his breakthrough into Yorkshire’s first team having toured South Africa with the senior squad in 1995.
“It was definitely going to be a breakthrough season for sure. I had been on tour with the first team so I wasn’t too far away,” he said.
“I was overseas professional for a club in Cape Town. It was my fifth season with them. I had been out for a meal with friends and I was driving home through the middle of Cape Town.
“It was a freak accident because I was going no more than 30mph and I think there was a blow out of a tyre on the car which slid into a barrier. ” When I locked my arms out straight the impact from hitting the crash barrier broke my neck. The break was high up in my neck so it left me paralysed from the neck down.
“It was just a freak. I didn’t have any marks on me or bruises or cuts. It was just the impact on my neck that broke it. It was like whiplash.
“I knew it was serious straight away because I couldn’t move but I accepted it from day one. I still live my life to the full and do as much as I can. I’m very positive. I don’t let it get to me.”
Hood is the latest former professional cricketer to benefit from the support of the Trust.
The players’ charity is part of the PCA’s commitment to helping current and former players and their dependents in times of hardship and upheaval or to readjust to the world beyond cricket.
The fund has taken a proactive approach to helping educate past and present players on all health and well-being issues. It also supports players and their dependents who might be in need of a helping hand with medical advice, operations and specialist advice and care.
Cricket United was created in 2013 and has already raised more than £100,000 in two years. By encouraging cricket fans to wear blue on the Saturday of the Test at the Kia Oval the aim of Cricket United Day is to raise awareness of the three cricket charities and improve lives through cricket.
To help the Professional Cricketers’ Trust to continue providing wide-ranging support you can visit the website or donate £10 by texting ‘CRICKET’ to 70085.