A GALASHIELS footballer has scored a spectacular hat-trick just weeks after suffering a serious hip injury, writes Kenny Paterson.
Des Sutherland came off the bench to secure a 3-1 win for Gala Rovers over Leithen Rovers in a Border Amateur League Division A game on Thursday night.
Team-mates feared the roofer would not play again this season when he was admitted to Borders General Hospital earlier this month with the serious injury.
He had started his recovery after being released from the BGH on August 11, and was included in the Gala squad for the trip to Innerleithen, but was not expected to play.
However, with Gala 1-0 down to an Alan McMath goal, Sutherland came on with 20 minutes remaining.
His scored his first within minutes of being on the pitch, added a penalty and then completed the hat-trick in the final minutes of the match.
Leithen Rovers co-manager Craig Lowrie praised Sutherland’s feat.
Lowrie said: “I spoke to Des at the start of the game and I asked if he would be playing and he said ‘Nah, probably not’.
“But massive respect to Des. To go through what he has and then just weeks later score a hat-trick in 20 minutes is incredible.
“I was co-manager of Gala Rovers last season and know what a talent Des is. Despite the result, it is great to see him back.”