A boy is in hospital today after he was impaled by a 4ft long football training pole which pierced his neck.
The horrific accident saw an air ambulance land on the soccer fields off Chell Heath Road in Fegg Hayes, Stoke on Trent, yesterday afternoon.
His shocked team mates watched as he was carefully loaded on to a stretcher and lifted gently into the helicopter after the freak accident.
It's thought he was running at full pace when he collided with the pole and it speared into his neck.
Coaches taking training sessions use poles to mark out fitness and practice areas for players to zig-zag through.
Firefighters and paramedics were called to the scene where the boy had been playing football with friends.
The fire service was called to cut the pole that in the boy's neck before he could be taken to hospital by the Midlands Air Ambulance to have it fully removed.
A spokesman for Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service spokesman said "Crews from Sandyford have been called to a football field off Chell Heath Road,
Fegg Hayes to assist colleagues from West Midlands Ambulance Service with a boy with a spike from a football training pole in his neck.
"The pole was cut and the boy flown to hospital by the air ambulance."
A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “We were called at 1.18pm on Saturday to reports of a patient who been impaled by a metal spike at the bottom of a plastic pole on a playing field near to Oxford Road in Fegg Hayes, Stoke on Trent.
"One ambulance, a paramedic officer and the Midlands Air Ambulance from Staffordshire attended the scene.
"On arrival, ambulance crews discovered one patient, a boy who had been impaled.
"The boy, who was conscious and in a stable condition, was treated for a neck injury before being airlifted to Alderhey Children’s Hospital by air ambulance.”
His age and his current condition have not been disclosed yet.