The ultimate injured testicle listicle


A batt(er)ed ball



You all know what a testicle is, but some of you older folk out there might not have heard of a listicle. The Oxford English Dictionary defines a listicle as “A piece of writing or other content presented wholly or partly in the form of a list.” It doesn’t take to much to work out that the word is a portmanteau, combining list and article. Pretty clever, eh?


Listicles are often derided — quite fairly — as cheap, lazy content. But as someone who is cheap and lazy, and who loves lists and writing articles, I find the idea of creating one kind of attractive. For me, though, it has to be a listicle with a twist. And what better twist than one of the scrotum, a twist which results in the rupturing of a testicle.


That very plot (and ball) twist was what North Melbourne’s Scott Thompson was confronted with in the Kangaroos’ match against Brisbane at the Gabba last Saturday. Thompson isn’t the first sportsman to have suffered a ruptured testicle on the field of play. In fact, he’s not even the first AFL player to suffer such a fate. So in the aftermath of his little accident, I thought it would be an opportune time to look at some of the ‘great’ testicle travails in sporting history. I therefore hereby commend to you my official sporting injured testicle listicle!


5. Scott Thompson


Let’s look at Scott’s balls-up first, while it’s fresh in our memories, and the tears of pain are still fresh in Scott’s eyes.  North headed up to the Gabba last Saturday night and took on a Brisbane team at the top of its football game. Unfortunately for Scott Thompson, one Lions player took the meaning of foot-ball to a new level and his boot accidentally connected with Thompson’s groin, rupturing his testicle. Foot 1, Ball 0. Thompson played out the match but he will be missing from the Roos’ team this week as he recovers.


4. Paul Wood


In the 2012 Rugby Super League Grand Final in Britain, the Warrington Wolves’ Paul Wood “took one for the team” when he copped a knee to the groin from Leeds Rhinos player Kallum Watkins at the start of the second half. Wood famously played out the match sporting a ruptured testicle but during that time said testicle blew up to the size of the tennis ball, and he landed in hospital after the game. Such was the damage, the testicle had to be removed. Wood lost a ball, and the Wolves lost the Grand Final 18-26.


On being released from hospital Wood tweeted, “Just coming out the hospital to go home … Seriously feel like I’ve left something?” Wood later claimed his little accident had been for the greater good. “It was good for rugby league. It’s probably had more coverage than anything else over the last few years.”



3. James Kelly


Geelong’s James Kelly didn’t require a boot or a knee to sustain his ruptured testicle. In a match against Richmond in 2015, Kelly flew for a mark, and took it, but landed awkwardly. “I remember taking the mark and sort of landing on my stomach,” he said later. The initial pain was similar to other occasions on which Kelly had been “hit in the nuts” but this time, the pain didn’t go away. The testicle swelled up, and Kelly left the field. Not long later he departed the MCG via ambulance and his split testicle was repaired via an operation at the Epworth hospital. He was back on the field a few weeks later.



2. Josías Manzanillo


Manzanillo isn’t just a port city in the state of Colima in Mexico, it’s also the surname of a Major League Baseball player who probably should have worn a box (or protective cup as they say in the States) when he pitched to the Cleveland Indians Manny Ramírez in 1997. A Ramírez line drive copped the Seattle Mariners pitcher Josías Manzanillo right in the Jatz crackers (even though no Seattle Mariners pitchers would be likely to know what Jatz crackers are).


Amazingly, Manzanillo had the presence of mind (if not the presence of balls) to throw out Jim Thome at home plate before he jogged off the field for his own personal ball count. The count was two but they were both injured, so Manzanillo traipsed off to hospital to undergo what is politely referred to on his Wikipedia page as “emergency reconstructive surgery”.



1. David ‘Bumble’ Lloyd


David Lloyd is perhaps best known these days for his dulcet Lancastrian tones as he commentates cricket matches for various networks around the world. But ‘Bumble’ was a fine first class cricketer in his own right, and he played nine Tests for England in 1974-75. It was in the sixth of those Tests that Lloyd copped a hit that would sustain him for sportsmen’s nights forever more.’


Facing up against perhaps the most fearsome attack in Ashes history — Jeff Thomson and Dennis Lillee — Lloyd managed to make a more than creditable 49 in the first innings of the Perth Test in 1974, and was making solid progress in his second innings when a ‘Thommo’ lightning bolt caught him in the most tender part of his anatomy. Unlike Manzanillo, Bumble was wearing a protective box but, in his words, it was totally inadequate for the ‘task’ at hand: “We wore little pink plastic boxes at the time which were totally unsuitable for the job.”


Just how unsuitable became obvious the moment ball hit box. Lloyd summed up the moment perfectly in a 2006 Telegraph interview: “It cracked open and what I had inside fired through before the box snapped shut again like a guillotine coming down. Even after 32 years, I lose my voice just thinking about it. There’s retired hurt and then there’s retired hurt…”


Retired hurt he did, his score 17 at the time, but Lloyd came back and scraped his way to 35 before Max Walker dismissed him. The Aussies won the Test easily, but ‘Bumble’ was as brave as any of the English batsmen, his match aggregate run total of 84 higher than any of his teammates.


Bumble’s ball-banger didn’t require hospital treatment but it comes in at number one on my list because it made me laugh the most.


Creating this listicle left me somewhat exhausted but it is by no means exhaustive. Please feel free to add stories of your own to help create the Ultimate Injured Testicle Listicle!


Hear what Bumble has to say about his ordeal HERE.


Read a nomination from John Harms HERE.



Our writers are independent contributors. The opinions expressed in their articles are their own. They are not the views, nor do they reflect the views, of Malarkey Publications.


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About Andrew Gigacz

Well, here we are. The Bulldogs have won a flag. What do I do now?


  1. Rabid Dog says
  2. Colin Ritchie says

    Many years ago in the 70s, I opened the batting for Kew 4ths or 5ths (can’t remember which) in the ESCA.
    One damp Saturday on a moist turf wicket that had been uncovered over a wet Friday night, I apprehensively took block and prepared to face up to the first ball of the match on what appeared to be a bowlers pitch. The opposition’s opening bowler, who had a reputation of being one of the quickest in the comp, has charged in and let rip. The ball landed mid wicket, an easy four coming up I thought to myself as I started to position myself for the pull shot. But, that ball zipped off that length at an astonishing pace and before I was halfway into the shot I knew I was in trouble. Thoughts raced through my head, had I remembered my box, is this going to hurt? Well, the ball hit me fair square in the clackers and it did hurt. As I crumpled into an uncontrolled heap I landed on my wicket spreading the stumps all over the place. The opposition players didn’t know whether to feel sorry for me, or to cheer or even laugh as in great pain I endeavoured to regain my composure and feet. With embarassed difficulty I trudged back to the clubrooms out for a first ball duck! All offers of assistance were refused!

  3. DBalassone says

    I’m actually squirming in my seat at the moment.

    I promise I will not mention Peter Filandia and Chad Davis.

  4. Horrific fun Gigs. The old country cricket question from slips when the batsman copped one: Don’t rub ’em, count ’em.

  5. Punxsa-and-the-rest-of-it Pete says

    I’ll never listicle again without thinking about my you-know-what-icles. Thanks for nothing gigs!

  6. Neil Saunderson says

    Gigs, although not specifically related to your listicle another incident in the same ball park for special mention would have to be All Black Wayne “Buck” Shelford who lost four teeth and had his scrotum split by a “stray” French boot at the bottom of a ruck. He left the field got it stitched and returned to play before being knocked out in the second half finally ending his day!

  7. Sometime last year I was watching Major League Baseball (the famous American Series) on Fox. A wild pitch bounced in front of the batter, shot between the catcher’s legs and collected the poor old umpire right smack in the you know where.

    Down he went like a sack of spuds. Somehow I don’t think he was wearing some type of protection for it took him some time to recover. Just how much damage was done wasn’t made public during the telecast.

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