'That's when reality hit' - Footballer speaks about life changing weekend

Ian Bulley from Fakenham won £80000 in an online competition but broke his leg playing football the

Ian Bulley from Fakenham won £80000 in an online competition but broke his leg playing football the next day. Byline: Sonya Duncan - Credit: Sonya Duncan

A footballer has described his weekend as the ‘highest of highs, and the lowest of lows’, after winning tens of thousands of pounds, but suffering a season-ending injury 24-hours later.

Ian Bulley, from Fakenham, was elated on Friday afternoon when he received a call from Best of the Best, a dream car and lifestyle competition, telling him he had won a top range Audi, and £30,000.

The 32-year-old who plays left wingback for Wells Town arrived at the second-round junior cup game against Briston on Saturday with his mind focused on the match. The clock ticked into the 60th minute when the challenge happened.

He knew right away.

Ian Bulley from Fakenham won £80000 in an online competition but broke his leg playing football the

Ian Bulley from Fakenham won £80000 in an online competition but broke his leg playing football the next day. Byline: Sonya Duncan - Credit: Sonya Duncan

“When the tackle happened, I immediately thought I had snapped my leg going off the noise of the challenge, people on the other side of the pitch heard it,” he said.

“After being helped out of the car and asked if I've broken it before, that's when reality hit.


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"You think you got away with it, and you don't fear the worse or maybe it is not as bad but finding out was devastating.

“You can have the highest highs and the lowest lows in the space of a day.”

Ian Bulley with his partner, Abi White.

Ian Bulley with his partner, Abi White. - Credit: Sonya Duncan

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This throws up challenges for the 32-year-old, whose girlfriend gave birth to their second son nine weeks ago.

Mr Bulley, who opted for a cash alternative, rather than the car, hopes to show how thankful he is for Abi by buying their dream family home.

“She is amazing,” he said.

“She is doing everything now and I’m lucky she's a strong person and she has taken it on her shoulders, she would do all that she can to make sure we are okay.

“Once I'm better I’ll do all I can to make sure she gets that home.”

Ian Bulley, from Fakenham, scooped the £80,000 prize in an online competition

Ian Bulley, from Fakenham, scooped the £80,000 prize in an online competition - Credit: Nathan Rous PR

The future of the warehouse operator's football career all depends on the news he gets when he goes back to hospital in a couple of weeks.

The team wherein the semi-final of the cup, being 90-minutes away from playing at Carrow Road before the season was voided as a result of the pandemic.

He is worried that this could be the end of his playing days.

“I’m gutted, football such a passion of mine, if I’m not playing my little boy is, or it's on the telly as it is a big part of my life,” he said.

“I said this season would be my last, it was the case of seeing how things go.

“It's always easy to say I won't do this again, same as when people say they won't drink again but go out the next weekend.”

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