A devastating eye injury on Sunday night has cut short Ross Bowers' ice hockey career just four games shy of his planned retirement from the game.
The former MK Lightning player sustained a serious eye injury during the final period of MK Thunder's home game against Romford on Sunday evening, when a Romford forward's stick followed through and hit Bowers in the eye. The Thunder man had emergency surgery but the devastating result is that he has lost the majority of the sight in the affected eye. He has been informed that even with potentially three or four more surgeries, the best he can hope for in that eye will be able to tell if a light is on.
Bowers racked up more than 500 appearances for Lightning during 11 seasons, helping the team to four playoff titles and three English Premier League titles, before playing for MK Thunder from 2015. He had planned on hanging up his skates at the end of the season.
His injuries not only end his ice hockey career but will also dramatically affect his life off-the-ice too and life with with girlfriend Nicola and 13-year-old daughter Ellie.
A spokesman from Lightning said: "All of us at the Lightning send our thoughts and wishes to Ross and his family and we are currently discussing how we can help with fund raising for him, at our next home game this Saturday."
A GoFundMe page has been set up to raise money for Ross and his family, allowing those in the MK hockey community who would like to make a donation, to do so: https://www.gofundme.com/ross-bowers