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Tim Hopkinson - Nottingham Forest FC


24/10/08 |

After turning 18 on the 3rd of October, things went downhill for me. My birthday was on a Friday and I found out that day that I wouldn’t be starting against Sunderland on the Saturday because one of the third years was playing down and so consequently I lost my starting place. I saw my family on Friday before they all went to Yorkshire later that evening for my cousin’s wedding but unfortunately I couldn’t go because of the away game at Sunderland.

Match: Sunderland v Nottingham Forest

We set off at around 7.30am on the Saturday and the journey lasted the best part of three and a half hours. We slipped to a 2 – 0 defeat and I didn’t get on the pitch which was quite frustrating, but that’s football for you. You just have to deal with it when things are tough. I spoke to my mum on the phone when I got back to Nottingham and she told me that the wedding went really well and the family were all alright which made me feel better.

The following Monday I reported to training as usual and trained pretty well in the morning. I felt good in the afternoon too, but by the time I had showered my stomach felt bad and I didn’t feel well at all. When I got home at about half five I felt really ill and was sick immediately. I continued to have diarrhoea and sickness throughout the evening and night at regular intervals. To me this just capped off the weekend! I couldn’t believe how badly it had gone.

I had to phone the Physio on the Monday night and fortunately for me the club Doctor was in at the ground on the Tuesday. I got hardly any sleep that night and reported to the Doc at the ground still feeling really bad. Whenever you’re ill at the club you have to see the club Doctor to be assessed on how you are and what course of action should be taken, i.e. either rest at home, go to the hospital or fit enough to do light training etc. but because I had a viral infection it was important for me to be away from the squad so that I didn’t pass anything on to them.

I found out later that night that both my cousin and my uncle were both ill with the same thing. For the next few days I had to get used to being in bed or on the sofa watching daytime TV – Jeremy Kyle went down a treat every morning! I didn’t eat anything until Wednesday and I started off by having soup which didn’t go down too well and I felt bad, but by Thursday night I had toast which settled alright in my stomach.

It was horrible not being able to eat, there was plenty of food in the house but just couldn’t eat any! I went in on the Saturday and was passed as fit by the Physio, by this point I did feel a lot better so on the Sunday I went in to do some runs just to get the cobwebs out of my chest and open it up a bit because I hadn’t done anything for 4 or 5 days.

Match: Nottingham Forest v Derby County

On the Saturday I became even more frustrated watching my team slip to a 2 – 1 defeat to Derby having lead in the first half. The one fixture I love playing is against Derby at home and I couldn’t play because I was ill, I was absolutely gutted I missed the game. But that’s made me even more determined to beat them when we play them away later in the season.