Hartson to change name to ‘Lucky’ after escaping death in golf buggy crash

Celtic legend John Hartson has made the incredible decision to change his name to ‘Lucky’ after escaping death in a golf buggy crash.

The former Wales international required 48 stitches after suffering a gaping wound on his head following a collision with a tree at at Peebles golf club, reports the Daily Record.

The accident occurred due to the driver pushing the accelerator instead of the brake by mistake.

The 43-year-old was propelled out of the buggy at 25mph, with his head sliced open by the metal bar holding the perspex windscreen in place.

He was rushed to hospital with blood streaming from his wound and could still face plastic surgery once doctors examine the extent of the scarring in the next 48 hours.

Hartson said: “It was frightening, I thought I was dead.

John Hartson is a keen golfer

Hartson shows off his wound

“I was passenger in the buggy and we were heading downhill to the first tee when the driver hit the accelerator instead of the brake and we hit a tree head on.

“It was a really unfortunate incident that happened out of nothing. The driver was beside himself. I sliced my head open but it could have been across my face, had my eye out or even killed me.

“I tried to keep it quiet and that worked for four days before the story appeared on the front page of the Daily Record. I’m still making headlines – can’t be bad.

“You go for a game of golf and expect to head home afterwards with a bit of a tan after a pleasant round, a chat with friends and a spot of lunch.

“I had just dropped my kids off at school and before I knew it, I was being stitched up in hospital. It was very, very unfortunate. My middle name is ‘Lucky’ I think. ”

In July 2009, four months after retiring from playing, former Arsenal and West Ham star Hartson was diagnosed with testicular cancer which had spread to his brain.

After successful treatment, the Livingston coach and BT pundit set up a charity, The John Hartson Foundation, to help others.

Hartson on duty as a pundit

John Hartson
The former Wales international has found a passion for golf

He was at the Glasgow Children’s Hospital today donating a £20,000 cheque to the Schiehallion Appeal, which has now gone through the £1million barrier.

Hartson added: “The saving grace is the metal bar didn’t hit my brain. It was just a laceration of the skin so never actually went through to the skull, which is a big plus.

“It’s very very unfortunate given I’ve other scars on the front and back of my head from the cancer. This will leave another one but it was unavoidable.

“The stitches come out on this week and plastic surgery is an option if the scarring doesn’t heal.

“However, there’s no point in getting one of those hair transplants – I don’t think they do miracles.”

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