David Busst

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David Busst
Personal information
Full name David Busst
Date of birth (1967-06-30) 30 June 1967 (age 53)
Place of birth Birmingham, England
Height 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)
Playing position(s) Defender
Club information
Current team
Coventry City
(Football Community Manager)
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1991–1992 Moor Green
1992–1996 Coventry City 50 (5)
2008–2009 Highgate United
Teams managed
2000–2003 Solihull Borough
2003–2006 Evesham United
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

David Busst (born 30 June 1967) is an English football manager at Football League One side Coventry City. Formerly a player, he was a defender from 1991 until 1996. Having started his career with non-league Moor Green, he moved to FA Premier League side Coventry City in August 1992.[A] Having made over 50 appearances for the Sky Blues, he suffered a broken leg during a match with Manchester United in 1996 which ended his career. His injury is often considered as the most horrific in the history of the Premier League to date.[1][2][3] He moved into management following his retirement with Solihull Borough in 2001, and later took charge of Evesham United. He came out of retirement in 2008 as defensive cover for Highgate United.

Club career[edit]

Busst played as a defender, and started his career at non-league side Moor Green in Birmingham, before moving to FA Premier League side Coventry City in August 1992.[4][A] He made his professional debut in an FA Cup match against Norwich City on 13 January 1993, and his Premier League debut three days later against the same side.[5] Busst made ten league appearances in his first professional season,[4] and went on to make 50 league appearances in total for the club, scoring 4 goals.[4]


His professional playing career came to an end on 8 April 1996, whilst playing for Coventry against Manchester United. Two minutes into the match, having ventured forward after his team won a corner, Busst collided with United players Denis Irwin and Brian McClair, resulting in extensive compound fractures to both the tibia and fibula of his right leg.[6] The match had to be delayed for nine minutes, due to Busst needing to be removed from the field on a stretcher, and blood was cleaned off the grass with water and sand.[6] Manchester United's goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel vomited on the pitch upon seeing the injury.[7] It was rumoured that Schmeichel had counselling for the effect of seeing the injury, but he said that this was not so.[8] The injury is often cited as one of the worst in the history of football.[1][2][3] The subsequent injuries suffered by Eduardo da Silva, Luc Nilis and Preston Burpo[9] have been compared to Busst's injury by many observers,[10] though Busst's is generally considered as by far the worst.

Busst's injuries were so bad that at one point he ran the risk of having his leg amputated.[7] While in hospital, Busst contracted MRSA, which caused further damage to the tissue and muscle in the injured part of his leg.[11] Despite having 22 operations, Busst remained a member of the official Coventry squad for a further seven months, but never played professionally again, and he retired from the game on 6 November 1996 on medical advice, as his doctors had warned him that he would never regain full fitness to play professional football. It was not the break itself that ended his career, but the following infections.[12] Just weeks before his retirement, Busst had been hoping to return to training the following spring and be ready for first team action by the start of the 1997–98 season.[13]

His testimonial match, played on 16 May 1997 against Manchester United, was a sell-out.[14] England internationals Paul Gascoigne and Les Ferdinand and best friend Jonny Hansen guested for Coventry in the game, which was also notable for being the last game that United captain Eric Cantona played before he announced his retirement as a player two days later.[15]

Coaching career[edit]

Since his retirement, he has worked for Coventry's backroom staff, working for their Football in the Community programme, of which he became director.[16] A year after the testimonial match, Schmeichel bumped into Busst at Old Trafford and they had a long chat; Busst said that he was happy, working with kids in Coventry.[8]

Busst also trained as a coach, earning UEFA coaching badges.[17] Busst went on to manage the non-league sides Solihull Borough (from 2000[18] until 2003) and Evesham United (from 2003[19] to 2006.[20]) He briefly acted as defensive cover in 2008 for Midland Combination Premier Division side Highgate United, where his brother Paul was the club's assistant manager.[17]


A. a b : Some sources, such as 11v11,[5] and Soccerbase,[21] give his transfer date as being January 1992, not August, which would mean he joined Coventry whilst they were still in the Football League First Division.


  1. ^ a b Wollaston, Steve (23 April 2020). "Eduardo, Aston Villa's Luc Nilis, and David Busst - The worst injuries football has seen". Birmingham Live. Retrieved 15 October 2020.
  2. ^ a b Tariq, Umer (3 February 2010). "1. David Busst – 10 of the Worst Football Injuries Ever". Bleacher Report. Retrieved 15 June 2013.
  3. ^ a b Cruise, Ian (28 February 2010). "Ouch! The Top 10 worst footballing injuries of all-time". The Mirror Football Blog. Retrieved 15 June 2013.
  4. ^ a b c "Player Profile – David Busst". FA Premier League. Retrieved 15 June 2013.
  5. ^ a b "David Busst". 11v11. Retrieved 15 June 2013.
  6. ^ a b Davies, Christopher (9 April 1996). "Cantona keeps United on top as Busst injury casts shadow". The Daily Telegraph. London. Archived from the original on 29 February 2008. Retrieved 18 October 2007.
  7. ^ a b Philip, Robert (18 January 2005). "Busst counts his blessings and looks ahead". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 18 October 2007.
  8. ^ a b "Peter Schmeichel: One-on-One". FourFourTwo. 1 August 2003.
  9. ^ Feuerstein, Daniel (29 May 2010). "Dane Richards Challenge Breaks Preston Burpo's Leg". World Soccer Talk. Retrieved 15 June 2013.
  10. ^ "All-time Worst Football Injuries". UEFA Champions League Betting. Retrieved 15 June 2013.
  11. ^ Busst, David (25 February 2008). "Eduardo's biggest pain will be fear his career is over". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 25 February 2008.
  12. ^ "Busst backs Eduardo to play again". BBC. 25 February 2008. Retrieved 25 February 2008.
  13. ^ "Busst back on road to recovery". The Independent. London. 17 October 1996. Retrieved 15 June 2013.
  14. ^ "Testimonial for David Busst". The Independent. London. 16 May 1997.
  15. ^ "Eric Cantona: 20 facts". Manchester Evening News. 24 November 2012. Retrieved 15 June 2013.
  16. ^ "About Us". Sky Blues in the Community. Archived from the original on 30 April 2012. Retrieved 15 June 2013.
  17. ^ a b "BUSST, David – Footballers". Where Are They Now?. Retrieved 15 June 2013.
  18. ^ "Football: A CAREER BUSST FOR DEFENDER". The Mirror. 2 February 2000. Retrieved 15 June 2013.
  19. ^ "David Busst – new manager at Evesham". This is Worcestershire. 8 November 2003. Retrieved 15 June 2013.
  20. ^ Reeves, Michael (21 November 2011). "West quits Evesham". Worcester News. Retrieved 15 June 2013.
  21. ^ "David Busst – Football Stats". Soccerbase. Retrieved 15 June 2013.

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