Casper family hit for second time

Last updated : 31 January 2002 By Tony Scholes

Reading's Chris Casper has finally been forced to accept that the broken leg he suffered at Cardiff on Boxing Day 1999 has ended his career. There were just twenty minutes gone in the game when Casper suffered the injury in an incident with Cardiff's Richard Carpenter and he has fought to rescue his career in the two years and more since. He has featured in the reserves this season in an attempt to get fit.

Chris started his career at Manchester United alongside the likes of Butt and Beckham but his first team debut was to come for Bournemouth in a loan period during the 1995/96 season. The following season did see him make his Manchester United debut and in the limited number of games he played for them featured in the Premiership, FA Cup, Worthington Cup and the Champions League.

After loan spells at Swindon and Reading he joined Reading permanently in November 1998 and had won a regular place in the side in the centre of defence. He is still just 26 and was 24 when he played his last game for the Royals.

This almost mirrors his dad Frank who did at least get a few more years in. Frank had just played possibly his two best ever games in wins for Burnley at Spurs and Wolves before being cruelly kicked out of the return game against Spurs on a Tuesday night at the Turf in September 1973.

He returned later in the season only to have his career crushed by Norman Hunter as the Clarets stuffed Revie's Leeds 4-1 at Elland Road. The challenge from Hunter was unforgivable for which he got a stern talking to, the innocent Frank Casper had his career in ruins at the age of 29.

He did play again a couple of seasons later but it was clear to everyone that it was to be just a brief return. Frank did remain in the game though for another 15 years before leaving the Turf for the last time in October 1991 and has since been involved with the Clarets current kit manufacturer.

Let's hope Chris does as successfully off the field as his dad has done.