The man fans ‘unmasked’ as the ‘Secret Footballer’ has recalled the horror moment he witnessed Aaron Ramsey’s leg break first hand – and who he thinks was to blame.
Earlier this year football supporters believed they had pieced enough clues together to place former Stoke City star Dave Kitson as the player behind the bestselling books written by an unknown professional.
And now Kitson, who retired from the game four years ago, is writing a new column for a national newspaper.
In it he remembers the anguish of witnessing Arsenal midfielder Ramsey’s horrific injury at the then-Britannia Stadium almost eight years ago.
Ramsey’s right leg was shattered following a tackle by one-time England international Ryan Shawcross.
Kitson, now 38, was not on the pitch but the severity of the challenge was so bad he claims he heard Ramsey’s leg crack from the substitutes bench.
And Kitson claims the terrible injury was the result of how riled up Stoke’s players were by their manager at the time, Tony Pulis.
“Tony Pulis absolutely despised Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger,” said Kitson, writing in The Sun.
“All week I had never seen amanager so desperate to win a game of football,it was bordering out of control.
“That particular game it was very much ‘lads, don’t forget, be aggressive in the tackle, dominate your man. That was the message.
“And the build-up to the game contributed to this moment.
“I heard the crack from the bench. I heard the screaming.”
Kitson said he felt “totally embarrassed” by the incident and did not know where to look when a horrified Arsene Wenger looked at him and the Stoke backroom staff sitting on the bench.
Kitson cost the Potters £5.5million from Reading in 2008 but admitted that it was a mistake to leave Royal Berkshire, where his family were settled.
The towering striker returned on loan eight months later after failing to score a goal in 18 games. After Reading failed to secure promotion, he went back to Stoke but was soon sold on to Portsmouth.
Kitson finished his playing career at Oxford United, where he officially hung up his boots in 2014.