Fractured skull boy who needs helmet for football is arsenal keeper Petr Cech’s mini me!
Meet the Manchester United-loving teenager who is the mini-me of protective helmet-wearing Premier League star Petr Cech – after fracturing his skull in a freak accident.
Keen 13-year-old footballer and boxer Mikey Bagnall, from Wrexham, North Wales, was left with the gruesome injuries after an accident at Jump 2 It trampoline park in nearby Deeside on November 12.
Dad Anthony Bagnall said the young centre-back has been left with a severely-reduced sense of taste and smell after he suffered a damaged nasal cavity surgeons were forced to fuse together.
The schoolboy woke up in Liverpool’s Alder Hey Children’s Hospital with no memory of the accident before undergoing more than five hours of surgery on his fractured skull which left him with gruesome scars across the top of his head.
Mikey was forced to shelve plans for boxing bouts and must also now wear a protective helmet in the style of Arsenal goalkeeper Cech while playing for his team Brickfield Rangers.
The Czech Republic international goalkeeper also suffered a fractured skull in a collision with Reading’s Stephen Hunt while playing for Chelsea in October 2006 and wears a helmet for all matches.
Mikey, who now thinks Coca Cola tastes like strawberries, said: “It makes me feel good about the helmet to see Petr Cech wearing it in games but I usually want him to lose.
“I’m not allowed to head the ball and I play at centre-back so it is a position where I really need to use my head. I have to bring the ball down on my chest and it is a struggle for me now.
“I don’t remember anything after the accident – I just remember waking up in the hospital. I was surprised when I learned I had a fractured skull. I can only smell things when they are really strong now.
“But I am training in Thai boxing now and can’t wait to get back to full contact in May.”
Dad Anthony, 51, a delivery driver, said: “Mikey says that Cech is just like him when he sees him playing in the match.
“He’s actually quite a good goalkeeper but I don’t think he wants to go in net because of his head.
“There are still a few kids that look at him awkwardly and he can’t go into the tackle as strong now, so he is a bit more hesitant. It has set him back.
“These injuries could be life-changing and we’re lucky that he is young and it hasn’t set him back further.
“It has affected his smell and taste and he thinks Coca Cola tastes like strawberry now.
“Mikey was right at the top of the group in fitness when he was training but now he is right at the back and it has set him back.
“At school, they say he is like a different lad. But he is a tough one and he has tried not to let it stop him doing things.”