Another young father is left a quadriplegic in horror country footy accident


Young father Andrew Regan has suffered a severe spinal injury while playing for his local NSW country rugby side – two weeks after the horror accident that paralysed ex-NRL winger Nathan Stapleton. 

Regan,35, was playing second row for the Orange Emus second-grade side in their round-one match against the Bathurst Bulldogs on April 23 when he damaged his C4 and C5 vertebrae in a tackle, leaving him an incomplete quadriplegic. 

Andrew Regan (pictured with wife Jessie Davies and their 11-month-old son Gus) settled in Orange, 250km west of Sydney, just a day before he was paralysed from the chest down

‘Reegs’, as he’s known to by friends and family, was airlifted to Royal North Shore Hospital and underwent emergency eight-hour surgery on his spine.

He had just settled in Orange, about 250km west of Sydney, with his small family the day before the accident – buying a cottage after living in the area for 12 months. 

A gofundme page has been set up in support of Regan, wife Jessie Davies and their 11-month-old son Gus, which has raised more than $270,000 in 48 hours.

Incomplete paraplegics, while paralysed, still retain some connection between their brain and body. 

While currently paralysed from the chest down, Regan is hopeful his recovery will see him walk again, and he has posted a positive message on Instagram. 

'Reegs', as he's known by friends and family, has posted his journey to recovery on Instagram - remaining positive and proving he hasn't lost his larrikin attitude

‘Reegs’, as he’s known by friends and family, has posted his journey to recovery on Instagram – remaining positive and proving he hasn’t lost his larrikin attitude 

‘I might not be out of the woods just yet, but quietly … Just about every time they hit me with the cough assist machine I say ‘lessgo”, Regan commented.

‘I just want to say Rugby is a great code with great people but things like this happen.’

Regan is currently recovering at Sydney's Royal North Shore hospital - a gofundme page has been set up to support Regan and his family

Regan is currently recovering at Sydney’s Royal North Shore hospital – a gofundme page has been set up to support Regan and his family

Orange Emus second grade coach Al Hattersley,38, said Regan was the kind of bloke every rugby club wants in their side.

‘He was everything. He’d turn up to training, he’d play any grade, any position you’d want him too, he helped out with all the volunteering … he’s the epitome of your bush rugby club person,’ Mr Hattersley told Daily Mail Australia. 

‘(Regan was) finishing up moving on Saturday morning, said he’d play, he has always been a man of his word.’

Hattersley said Regan played for the club throughout the 2021 season and is a cluey bloke, having just started an ag science role with the CSIRO, a government research agency.

Mr Hattersley said Regan’s injury happened from nothing other than a freak accident from running up the ball into contact from a tackle that occurs ‘thousands of times in your average game of footy’.

Regan is known by friends as a resilient person who has competed in ultra-marathons exceeding 100 kilometres. 

Regan pictured with wife Jessie Davies at Sydney Royal North Shore hospital, where the young father is recovering from C4 and C5 vertebrae damage

Regan pictured with wife Jessie Davies at Sydney Royal North Shore hospital, where the young father is recovering from C4 and C5 vertebrae damage

The Orange Emus have thrown their support behind Regan, starting a #RallyForReegs fundraiser. 

Hattersley says Regan is in good spirits and both he and wife Jessie are blown away by the widespread support.

‘He’s talking, breathing on his own,’ 

‘It’s fantastic (the support). Any of the funds that are raised are going directly to the guys that help with the needs and living expenses moving forward. In particular to their son Gus. It’s his first birthday next week so they’re pretty excited about celebrating that milestone.’ 

The tragic accident marks the second severe spine-related injury in NSW country rugby in the past month. 

Former Cronulla Sharks player Nathan Stapleton was left paralysed after fracturing his neck in a union game while playing for the Boorowa Goldies on April 9.

Rugby Australia CEO Andy Marinos said the game has not been hit with a severe spinal injury case since 2018.

‘Our National Safety Committee is constantly researching and collecting data on injuries such as concussions and spinal injuries, which drives bodies of work to continuously strive to make the game safer,’ Mr Marinos said.

If you’d like to donate to Regan’s cause, you can do so by visiting https://m.facebook.com/RallyforReegs/ and https://www.gofundme.com/f/rallyforreegs.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk