Crane thanks Rocks and fans - but is set to be out for season

James Crane receives the cheque to pay for his op from supporters' club chairman Ian Guppy / Picture by Tommy McMillan
James Crane receives the cheque to pay for his op from supporters' club chairman Ian Guppy / Picture by Tommy McMillan

James Crane has praised the Rocks and their fans for paying for his shoulder operation - but has said he won't be back in action as soon as hoped.

Crane told the club's website how he had now had the surgery needed after dislocating his shoulder in an awkward fall during a game last September.

He said: "It all started after I scored a 94th-minute winner to secure victory in the FA Cup against West Super Mare in mid September. Feelings of elation, excitement and determination turned into despair, apprehension and frustration a week later when I innocuously dislocated my shoulder against Gloucester City.

"After three setbacks I was finally told I needed an operation before I could play competitive football again. As a result of the ever=increasing strain on the NHS this was not likely to be until after September 2018 at the earliest. It was looking more and more likely that I would therefore miss the rest of this season and the majority of next season.

"I am sure you can imagine how overwhelmed and overjoyed I was when the club and the fans raised the money for me to have the operation done privately. I want to publicly thank Jack Pearce and the club for their support in ensuring this happened swiftly.

"I would also like to thank all of the supporters from the bottom of my heart for their humbling generosity and kind words of support, without whom this would certainly not have been possible. I am still in shock at the level of support you have shown me.

"I would also to thank both Graham Flower and Ian Guppy for your guidance, assistance and persistence in terms of making this all possible I will be forever grateful for all you have done.

"Unfortunately the injury was much more severe than first anticipated and it is now looking unlikely that I will get to play this season, however it does mean I will be able to play the game I have missed for the club I love much sooner than would have been possible if it wasn’t for the fantastic community effort of Bognor Regis Town Football Club.

"Now let’s be that 12th man we have been over the past ten years and get behind Jack and the team to do our utmost to make sure we are a National League South club again next season."