Saturday 21st December 2019 – Robert McGurk would step on a rugby field for the last time.

Then aged 20, McGurk would suffer an horrific anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury that would end his career at such a young age after a robust tackle.

Merseysportlive reporter Andy Lott, spoke to Robert to find out more.

Rugby Injury

“I played 60 minutes in the match and was feeling very tired with my legs starting to ache.

“I get the ball in my hands and see a gap. Ran through it for about 20-30 yards until one of the opponents approached me from the side.

ACL Tear -BruceBlaus
Wiki Commons ACL Tear -BruceBlaus

“I’m pushing and pushing away until he grabs my leg and then I feel a rip and tare right up and down my knee.

“I somehow still carried on for a few yards which is probably why it is so bad now but then I fell to the floor in agony.”

The Incident

Fellow Sefton Rugby Scrum half, Matthew Nolan, described the horrific incident.

“I was on the bench myself due to carrying an injury but as I saw him carry on for a few steps and then fall and I knew it was a bad one.

“I have known Rob since I was 5 and he never stayed down unless it was serious.

“Him clutching his knee in agony was painful to see and I felt the worst for him.”

Rob went to the physio at the beginning of 2020, looking to get on track to fitness by the end of the year.


However, the pandemic hit and forced all sport, recreational and professional to stop, with everyone locked inside.

“COVID flipped everything upside down. Everyone was locked in, and I couldn’t get the correct physio or treatment for my injury.

“I was not training and could only go for runs which did not help my knee whatsoever.

“This period was when I realised how bad my injury really was.”

Late 2020 saw Rob realise his passion for rugby was fading and the realisation set in on his future in the sport.

“I knew I wouldn’t play rugby again and I had to take up a new sport to keep my mental and physical health intact.”

A fresh start

The 22-year-old found a new sport in golf to help his physical and mental well-being.

Rob plays golf at Aintree Golf Centre, and has enjoyed the transition from playing rugby to golf over the last year.

“The only light that came out of this situation is how I started to play golf.

“I really enjoy playing golf but believe it or not it also does take a toll on my injury.

“Just by swinging a club it still takes an effect on my knee and causes me some discomfort.”

Rob explained how the experience with his injury has helped him learn and adapt to his bodies demands.

“This was a whole learning curve for me. A big learning curve in the gym as well.

“I could not lift as heavy as I used to, so I had to change my training to more consistent weights that are lower so I could manage the load.

“I have really enjoyed Golf, but I do miss the physical aspect of Rugby and I hope that somehow I could play it again one day.”

(Featured Image: Facebook – Robert McGurk)