Shawcross not afraid to tackle demons after breaking Ramsey's leg

19 March 2010 12:54
Ryan Shawcross insists he has not lost any sleep over the challenge that left Aaron Ramsey with a double fracture of the right leg, even though his opponent still refuses to forgive him.

The Stoke defender has spoken for the first time about the incident in Arsenal's win at the Britannia Stadium three weeks ago when his mistimed tackle left Ramsey facing eight months out with a broken tibia and fibula.

A distraught Shawcross, 22, was shown a straight red card by referee Peter Walton and left the field in tears. He has since tried to contact Ramsey to apologise but the Arsenal player is not responding.

Horror tackle: Ryan Shawcross broke Aaron Ramsey's leg with this tackle

'I've made efforts and nothing has been returned,' said Shawcross.'I've left him messages and a text. Will I see him? I might do but it'stotally up to Aaron. He's probably trying to concentrate on his rehab.'

Shawcross, who is free to return from his three-match ban against Tottenham on Saturday, claims his conscience is clear.   

He added: 'If I knew I'd gone out to hurt somebody then obviously I would have sleepless nights but I didn't.

Seeing red: Shawcross was suspended for three games

'It was an unfortunate accident and that's why I'm fine sleeping.

'I just got there a tiny bit late and missed the ball and this iswhen injuries happen. If you mistime a tackle you can cause a lot ofdamage but it probably happens five or six times in a game and somepeople never get injured.

'As soon as I tackled him my foot was really sore so I knew I'd donesomething. But then I turned around and saw it and that's when all theemotion came across that I had caused so much harm to a fellowprofessional.

'I felt very emotional coming off the pitch. I don't know what came over me. It was probably the guilt of hurting someone.'

Shawcross says he has not been psychologically affected, asBirmingham's Martin Taylor was by a similar incident involvingArsenal's Eduardo two years ago.

He added: 'Aaron's had a horrific injury that we all hope he's goingto come back from. My main feelings were for him, not for me. I justwish him all the best.

'I accepted the referee's decision and took the ban and hopefully I can get back to playing football now.

'I'm quite a strong character. In training, I've been back to normal. I've been making hard tackles.'

Ironically, Shawcross received his first England call-up for thefriendly against Egypt just hours after the incident. England's captainfor that game, Steven Gerrard, was the first to text him, and hisformer Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson also called to offerhis support the following day amid his team's Carling Cup celebrations.

'That shows the kind of man he is,' said Shawcross. 'I could hearthem celebrating so he's obviously gone out of his way to give me acall.

'I got a text off Steven Gerrard. He said he knew it was an honest tackle and that I was welcome to the squad.

'But it was quite a weird thing because usually if you were calledup to the England squad for the first time you'd be jumping up in theair. I'd driven home very disappointed to my girlfriend and baby andjust sat feeling pretty gutted.

'Then I got the phone call from the gaffer saying that I had an England call-up and it didn't really sink in.

'I've seen it (the tackle) quite a few times. It was just an unfortunate accident.'

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Source: Daily_Mail