It’s former Fulham star Brede Hangeland’s birthday, and although the Norwegian enjoyed a very successful footballing career, one story infamously sticks with the old defender.
In the modern game there are many new, innovative ways to treat various injuries, and millions of pounds is invested every year into identifying the best possible types of treatment. However, with every new form of medicine, there is an old, naturopathic method that some traditionalists prefer to use.
And Hangeland found this out in a rather unique way, as he suffered a dead leg while playing for Fulham back in the day. And it turns out former boss Felix Magath much preferred his dated methods over any medical advice.
Magath bizarrely ignored doctors at Fulham who insisted that a simple syringe was required to drain fluid from Hangeland’s dead leg. And instead, the Norwegian was given a shopping list, as well as being told to call his mother while undergoing treatment.
In an interview with 5 Live, Hangeland revealed: “I had a dead leg, and I went to the doctor as you do. You go to the doc and you say ‘doc, what should I do about this dead leg.’
“He says ‘we will drain the fluid with a syringe and you’ll be fine, but there is a new rulebook now. You have to go up to the manager and he has to ok all the treatments’.
“I thought: ‘Ok this is a bit weird but ok.’ Up I go, and I say to him that I’ve got a dead leg, this is what we will do. He says ‘no, that’s not what we will do.’
“He then tells me and the doctor to go and get some cream cheese. We got it from Tesco. He tells us to mix the cheese with alcohol and put it on your dead leg overnight, and very importantly before you go to bed you have to call your mother.
“And I swear, I’m in his office and at this point I’m looking up to the corner of the room because there has to be a camera in here. I don’t want to make a fool of myself so I ask him ‘why do I have to call my mum?’
“He says the cheese and the alcohol and the biological reaction of the love that you feel when you call your mother, this will heal your leg.” Despite a prestigious managerial career, it may not come as a surprise that Magath’s time at Fulham was very short lived, and the German had a lot to say once the story of his strange treatment surfaced.
“I merely suggested it could be worth trying the old wives’ tale of applying quark cheese to the injured area,” said Magath in response to the story. “These false-stories from the player Hangeland are rubbish. I would never tell a doctor what to do.”
Hangeland’s former team-mate and current pundit Danny Murphy sided with the Norwegian, stating that the story was completely true. But Magath wasn’t very popular at Fulham, after finishing with a record of four wins, four draws, and 12 losses before being sacked.