After Loic Remy failed his Liverpool medical recently it got me thinking about what medicals involve and also what big names and bizarre stories have been involved in medicals before. The medical is usually the last step in a footballers move after a fee and personal terms are agreed.
A medical summed up is a series of fitness tests and injury screenings which the club carry out on the player to determine whether a player should sign for their club or not or if they are too unfit or too big a risk to sign. The medical team report back to the club and recommend whether they should sign the player. Now I am going to take a look back at some of the famous and bizarre stories to do with medicals:
1. There was George Boyd whose move from Peterborough to Nottingham Forest on deadline day in January 2013 fell through after unbelievably failing an inconclusive eye test. He had previously been at Forest in 2010 on loan. They must regret the move now as a month later he moved to Hull and played a vital role in there promotion and Premier League success.
2. Another story is Demba Ba’s medical when he was scheduled to move to Stoke for 6 million in 2011, but he failed the medical and Stoke did not want to take the risk on the Senegal striker who was said to have knee problems. They surely went onto regret this move as he went on to sign for West Ham in the same window and scored 7 goals in 13 games, then went onto Newcastle where he scored a hat trick against Stoke to rub salt into the wounds. Then he went to Chelsea, he scored 43 goals in the Premier League in 4 seasons overall. He has now moved to Besiktas in Turkey.
3. Frank Worthington was scheduled to move to Liverpool in 1972 but the supposed move was cancelled when Frank failed his medical due to apparent high blood pressure brought on by high sexual activity. Told to go on holiday and relax he came back for a second medical and failed for the exact same reason.
4. Asa Hartford a Scottish International was supposed to complete a high profile move to Leeds in 1971 but it was stopped when Leeds suspected he had a rare hole in the heart condition. He played professional football for 20 years and made over 700 club appearances and received 50 caps for his country, so it couldn’t have affected him that much.
5. Finally there is the story of Manchester United legend and Dutch striker Rudd Van Nistlerooy, he failed his first United medical in 2000, due to knee problems and days after ruptured his knee ligaments while training, this made United back out. Then almost exactly a year later in 2001 he signed for United for £19.5 million from PSV Eindhoven. United fans must be relieved as the clinical Dutchman scored 150 goals in just 220 appearances.