Extract from 'Head in the Clouds' Ebook by Dave Jackson

Extract from 'Head in the Clouds' Ebook by Dave Jackson

The first extract from Nottingham Rugby full-back Dave Jackson's new ebook "Head in the Clouds" tells of the moment he was told by a neurosurgeon that he would have to immediately retire from the game...

The scan results showed a scar on the brain. I could see it for myself. It looked like a perfect black circle and they explained to me that it came from a small bleed that had not showed up on the original CT scan.

It was a huge shock to see it for myself. I didn’t really know what to say. I stood there staring at it. This was me I was looking at. My head.

When it came to the nitty gritty, the discussion about my future as a rugby player didn’t last long.

In fact, it wasn’t a discussion at all. The neurosurgeon advised me that I should stop playing the game with immediate effect.

“….with immediate effect.”

“…with immediate effect.”

As hard as that was to hear, part of me had expected something like that.

I knew in the weeks leading up to the scan that things weren’t right by a long way. But the magnitude of what this stranger was saying to me just didn’t sink in for a while.

Looking back, I was also grateful that they took any decision about my future away from me.

There would also always be the temptation to continue “playing for a while and ‘see how it goes’. The hardest decision to make would be to admit my situation and just pack it in.

I didn’t expect it to be so clear cut though and I didn’t expect my career to come to an end in such a way. I played my first game for Nottingham when I was six years old and that was 25 years ago. This was my club. I wanted to go out on my own terms and I don’t mind admitting that I wanted to go out in a blaze of glory too.

It was a very sad process telling people at the club and loved ones that I wouldn’t be coming back. That was it. Game over.

It felt weird in the aftermath. When I should have been training, I was at home. When I should have been in the gym, I was at home. Even worse, when I should have been playing, I was at home too.

Inevitably, thoughts immediately turned to the obvious question: What the hell was I going to do now?

You can download Head in the Clouds on iBooks, cost 99p, proceeds go to Headway, the brain injury charity

date posted:

If you enjoy it, remember to share it with other sports fans

Got any comments then let us know.


All comments are reviewed before publishing, you will be notified by email once your comments are live.

Newsletter sign up

Don't miss out, sign up now.