PAUL AITON: I'M BACK FROM HELL


WAKEFIELD star Paul Aiton is finally celebrating the end of five months of hell.

The Papua New Guinea captain’s horror story started when he was brutally mugged on holiday in Spain in July.

Both sides of his jaw were shattered in the attack by two men who stole cash and two mobile phones.

His injuries were so bad that specialists had to fit a plate and four screws – and he’ll have them for the rest of his life.

Doctors also fitted a wire around his face to hold the jaw in place, stopping Aiton from eating properly for four months.


The 27-year-old said: “It’s been a shocker of a year ever since the mugging. I couldn’t swallow or chew anything for four months and had to slurp everything through a straw.

“Everything had to be blended and I had so much soup that now I don’t think I’ll like soup ever again.

“I lost more than three stone and I was that skinny that I looked ill.”



The hooker, who only weighed 13st 5lbs before the attack, was warned he couldn’t play again for the rest of the Super League season.

But he was shocked at just how debilitating the injury was, saying: “I couldn’t run or do weights or even talk properly. People reckon I was a pretty cranky man before the injury but after it I was even worse. I hated it because I couldn’t do anything.”

Aiton made his comeback in the Boxing Day friendly defeat at Leeds Rhinos – a game that involved a mass punch-up and saw one player sent off and four sin-binned.

But Aiton was delighted it was so fiery because it proved to him once and for all that his jaw is now ready for anything.

He said: “Punches were being thrown everywhere and it was an awesome game to play in.

“I was really relieved that I was finally playing again and that everything went well. Now I’m looking forward to a really big season next year.”

Meanwhile, Sean Long, the assistant coach at crisis club Salford, admits he’s been approached by other Super League clubs.

But the former Great Britain star insists he’d rather stay at the Reds, saying: “I am hoping new investment in the club will soon take place.”

CHAMPIONS Leeds have handed Aussie trialist Joe Vickery a one-year deal after he impressed in the Boxing Day win over Wakefield.

Daily Star
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