A GALASHIELS footballer has scored two hat-tricks in three days – just weeks after dislocating his hip, 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 last Thursday night.
And he then added another treble in Rovers 6-4 win at Hearts of Liddesdale in the Border Cup quarter finals on Saturday.
Gala co-manager Steven Noble called Sutherland’s return a “miraculous recovery” having only left Borders General Hospital on August 11. His injury also forced him to use a wheelchair in the days after his release.
Noble told TheSouthern: “I went to see him in the hospital when he was first admitted. He was in a lot of pain and I didn’t think he would play this year.
“But within three days I could see he was getting better and it is testament to Des that he is back so quickly.
“He only stopped using a wheelchair a few weeks ago. Obviously, the main thing was Des getting back to full health, football came second. But he phoned me a few days before the Leithen Rovers match asking if there was space on the bench.
“I asked if he was sure he was fit and he said he felt better, and, of course, he then scored a hat-trick.”
Leithen Rovers boss Craig Lowrie added: “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.”
With a strong squad this term, Sutherland will be hoping to contribute to a successful season for the Netherdale side.
Noble added: “The aim is to do well in all the competitions we enter but our priority is also to see our young players do well and this week Billy Miller is training with Livingston, which is great for the club.”