Mum fears ex-Dundee FC kid’s football career is over after ‘assault’

John Black in action for Dundee

A former Dundee FC youth player who suffered a serious head injury in an alleged assault is coming to terms with the fact his playing days may be over.

John Black, 20, from Blairgowrie, had surgery to replace part of his skull at Ninewells Hospital, Dundee, on Monday.

While he has responded well to the operation, he still has a long journey ahead of him.

His mother, June Black, said: “He still has double vision, anxiety, concentration, memory issues and is tired.

“He just wants to sleep all the time.

Mrs Black, from Blairgowrie, said the procedure took 90 minutes and her son was now recovering at home with his girlfriend Joanna Taylor.

Mrs Black said that while in many ways John had responded well to the injuries sustained in the alleged assault in Dundee’s Hawkhill in October, the recovery process would take a long time.

“With the severity of John’s brain bleed, to come out of it relatively unscathed has astounded doctors,” she said.

“The enormity of the injury has hit him and his dream of his football career taking off again has died a death. He could never head a ball with that plate.

“John has a lot of emotions — sometimes he is quite accepting, sometimes angry and sometimes sad.

“He is a young lad and should be enjoying himself.”

John is not feeling up to taking in the Dundee versus Celtic game on Boxing Day as had been planned, but the family hope hospitality can be arranged by the club at a later date.

Mrs Black said the family were looking forward to enjoying Christmas together and she was grateful for the support John has had from a number of quarters.

The family also wanted to give something back and efforts by his sister Jenna, which also involved friends of John having their heads shaved, has raised £3,577, which will be split between A&E, the intensive care unit and the neurology ward at Ninewells Hospital.

A 23-year-old man appeared in court charged in connection with the alleged assault in October.

Robert Chambers, from Dundee, was subsequently released on bail.