A young rugby ace is refusing to let his injury nightmare prevent him from helping the next generation of young stars.
It’s nearly two years since Connor Howard tore his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) playing for Chorley Panthers U18s.
Since then, he has undergone the surgeon’s knife twice and endured months of physiotherapy.
However, rather than sitting around feeling sorry for himself, Connor has taken up coaching the Panthers U9 team.
The 18-year-old said: “It’s pretty good, it’s enjoyable.
“It’s good to share what I know with younger kids, to give something back to youngsters with the same passion as me.
“It makes being hurt easier, still being involved in matches and being involved in sport. Once I started coaching, my knee has been better.”
Recalling how he suffered his knee injury, he said: “It was the first tackle of the game. I went down to field a bad pass and two guys tackled me at the same time and my knee just bent the wrong way.”
Connor hopes to be able to take part in playing again around the turn of the year.
“I can’t wait,” he said. “I’d probably give anything to be playing again.
“Obviously, I’m going to take my time over it, I don’t want to rush it.” Connor first started coaching the side last Christmas when they were the Under 8s.
“They were training with the Under 7s when I came down, but we managed to get enough numbers up to split away from them,” he said.
“We did pretty well last year. We started winning more games.
“So far, we have nine players signed on, plus more coming down which aren’t signed on yet.
“But more players usually come down as the season goes on. Players tell their friends how much fun it was and bring their mates down.”