Ex-Man United man Gillespie hospitalises opponent in charity game

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The former Red Devils and Newcastle player left Dean Heffernan sprawled out on the pitch with a vicious elbow during a memorial clash

Ex-Manchester United star Keith Gillespie took a friendly match far too seriously as he left an opponent needing hospital treatment in Australia. 

Gillespie, who came up through the United academy and was sold to Newcastle in the deal that brought Andy Cole to Old Trafford in 1996, featured for a Legends XI in a game organised as a tribute to late former West Ham youngster Dylan Tombides. 

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But the former Northern Ireland international cast a shadow over the charity match with a nasty assault on rival Dean Heffernan. 

An elbow to Heffernan’s face left the player sprawled out on the floor, and he was eventually substituted towards the end of the game. 

Heffernan later went to hospital, where according to reports from  Fox  he was treated for chipped teeth and apparent memory loss. 

Gillespie attempted to mend bridges after the game, with a tweet apologising for his actions. 


“Apologies to everyone with regards my elbow. I reacted to an elbow in the ribs but I obviously didn’t mean to injure. Apologies again,” he wrote on the social network. 

The retired player, however, could yet face further action, with Perth Football Association chief John Didulica pledging to take the incident up with Manchester United.

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