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Monday, August 09, 2010

The Stuart Mangan story

It’s been a year since the tragic passing of Irish rugby player Stuart Mangan who was paralysed when severely injuring his spine in a tackle in 2008. To remember the inspiring young man, the BBC have made a documentary of his short, but eventful life. That will be aired tonight, so today we pay tribute to him.

At the age of just 24 years, talented flyhalf Stuart was left paralysed from the neck down when he was injured while playing for Hammersmith & Fulham Rugby Club in London on April 26 2008.

Within seconds he went from being a young man who had it all going for him to being one that needed round the clock care and a ventilator to keep him breathing.

"It wasn't anyone's fault. Whatever way my head and neck went, it just cracked," said Stuart afterwards, holding nobody responsible.

He suffered a C-1 spinal fracture as his third vertebrae went over his fourth, causing him to lose all movement immediately, as well as stop his breathing. He was kept alive by a team mate who gave him mouth-to-mouth resuscitation until paramedics arrived.

He was left with no movement from the neck down, but suffered no brain damage and despite the limitations that followed, Stuart managed to inspire and touch all around him as he went on with daily life, taking each new day as it came.

He untimely passing was a shock to many as he suddenly contracted a chest infection, and then pneumonia which led to him passing away.

During the 16 months that followed the injury, a moving documentary was made by the BBC that documents his life as he left hospital and had to adapt to having no movement from his head down.

The video below is not the documentary, but was made while Stuart was still alive and features interviews with him as he adjusts to his life after the injury.

Please go to www.stuartmangan.org to find out more and how you can help with the Stuart Mangan Trust. The documentary will be screened tonight, 9th Aug, on RTE1 at 9:30pm.

Time: 06:38
Note: The documentary will hopefully be available on the RTE Player over the next few days, or if someone in Ireland is able to record it tonight and upload, we can then share it with the world.



  • I hope the family get what they want.....backed by support from plenty of well know Irish player past and present.

    1st!:-) get in there!!!

    By Anonymous Outside Centre, at August 09, 2010 5:15 pm  

  • Inspiring...
    RIP Stuart Mangan.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at August 09, 2010 5:27 pm  

  • tragic, something that cant be dealt with in rugby :/ shame to see such talent go to waste.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at August 09, 2010 5:31 pm  

  • Knew the guy very well, one of the good guys.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at August 09, 2010 5:37 pm  

  • Everyone's worst nightmare.
    People like him make people like me realise the true value of life.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at August 09, 2010 6:40 pm  

  • I think there's too much emphasis and focus on who he was, and what he accomplished, and not that he was a mortal human that had an unfortunate and horrific injury.

    Every website of him I visited remarked about his success and how superior he was to me and you, and instead of appealing for money and support for everybody suffering from this exact same accident, they only offer their contact details.

    It's just ashame they aren't doing enough to spread awareness for countless others without the same love and support... It's a horrible situation (the worst, in my opinion) to be in, but he's perhaps the luckiest of them all.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at August 09, 2010 8:11 pm  

  • It would be interesting to know which people were moved by this tragic story and yet vilified anyone who thought the Woodcock hit merited a yellow and/or a citing for blindsiding the unsuspecting Wallaby player who was trying to leave the ruck. Woodcock's right shoulder slammed in to the player's spine and snapped his head so far back.

    By Anonymous Stubby, at August 09, 2010 8:37 pm  

  • anonymous ^ its not about trying to make him look superior to other people. he was a successful guy, end of. thats just who he was.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at August 09, 2010 9:25 pm  

  • RIP sounds like an absolutely great chap, I'm sure he will be missed by friends family and everyone else. And he looked like a very talent guy in his rugby and in his work. This has really made me realise the true value of life. RIP

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at August 09, 2010 10:06 pm  

  • i wish all the support to the family qand friends !! and this has deffinetly made me and probably many others realises the true value of live ! Rip buddy !

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at August 09, 2010 10:12 pm  

  • the same could have happened to brian o driscoll...he´s lucky to be still able to walk...

    greets from germany,
    all the best to his family,


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at August 09, 2010 10:37 pm  

  • It's on tonight but i don't think i can bring myself to watch the whole thing tonight its just so sad.

    I don't think there's any problem in talking about the fact that he was a vetry good player and that he dealt with his injury with such dignity. His story raised awareness for others who have suffered similar injuries and charities and support for these people so what's the problem ?

    By Anonymous Third Centre, at August 09, 2010 10:54 pm  

  • this certainly puts my knee injury into perspective
    RIP buddy

    By Anonymous rehanb, at August 09, 2010 11:34 pm  

  • Just watched the documentary hope its available to share. As for Stewart- what a great man! Don't think I could have such a positive outlook on things

    By Anonymous Gs, at August 09, 2010 11:50 pm  

  • A story like this is always moving and is a reminder to those of us who love this game why certain laws exist. Although in this case it did seem to be entirely an accident of the sort that could happen in any match.

    @Stubby: I understand your point, the problem is that the refs in the previous 3 or 4 matches had devalued the yellow card so much that I get the feeling they heard the criticism and decided to not be so quick on the draw. But of course Woodcock's hit is exactly the sort of thing that warrants a yellow and a couple of weeks ago I think he would've got it.
    I was hit in a similar way myself once, and was dazed for about 10 minutes. I regard it as the most dangerous moment I had in 15 years playing the game.

    By Anonymous secondfive, at August 10, 2010 7:38 am  

  • RIP you seemed a sterling kinda guy

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at August 10, 2010 11:12 am  

  • who cares about the Woodcock hit on faainga???create another post for that, give this poor guy some respect.

    i played opposite him many times but didnt really know him. great guy on the pitch and inspiration off it.

    i doubt many of us would be able to take it like he did.

    By Anonymous jimmymc, at August 10, 2010 11:20 am  

  • I knew Stuart all my life and am close friends with the Mangan family. The simple truth was Stuart was different, he seemed to go through life with the Medias touch, enjoying every second, making new friends, having fun and working hard, until the horrific day in April 2008 when his and his family, friends and girlfriend's lives were changed forever. Stuart was lucky; the unstoppable energy that exuded from him when he was well was transfered to his friends and family and made all of us want to do whatever we could to help him and make his life more comfortable. Stuart's accident taught so many of us to appreciate what we have and has made us much more aware of those who have less and hopefully we will go on supporting worthy causes because as this shows it could happen to any of us and if, heaven forbid, it ever does hopefully we will have touched enough people to have a fraction of the support that Stuart received. RIP Stu - xxx.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at August 10, 2010 12:13 pm  

  • Without getting into the slightly 'political' stuff other posters have introduced, I think the lesson here is that the rules regarding spear tackles, use of the arms in tackles, proper rucking and scrummaging are desinged to make what is basically a very dangerous game as safe as possible.

    I get annoyed when people say it's not ballet dancing or the game is going soft or whatever - the pro players take these risks every time they play, and nobody wants to see people die as Stewart did. Evans could have been killed in the last 6 Nations tournament - as it is, he will never play again.

    Remember what the rules are for before complaining about them - and if you want to see people smashing each other all day, watch wrestling or something - not a game of skill like rugby.

    By Anonymous Mike, at August 10, 2010 2:21 pm  

  • fairpoint Mike...tragic story. Sympathy to Stuart's family and those others undergoing the same experience.

    No it's not ballet but it is a game which should be played with the sportsmanship, spirit and honest graft of somebody like Stuart

    By Anonymous NiWiTa, at August 10, 2010 4:05 pm  

  • Rest in peace Stuart. You must've been one hell of a guy!

    My sympathies to the family and friends. All my respect and good wishes.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at August 10, 2010 4:05 pm  

  • jimmymc said... who cares about the Woodcock hit on faainga???create another post for that, give this poor guy some respect.

    Not much good can come out of what happened to Stuart except his example of personal courage, but maybe if it gets people thinking about how this sort of injury occurs then that is a small positive. I don't see any disrespect.

    By Anonymous secondfive, at August 10, 2010 4:29 pm  

  • RIP Stuart. Great docu and puts things really in perspective.

    By Blogger Nick, at August 10, 2010 7:17 pm  

  • http://www.rte.ie/player/#v=1078267

    theres a link to the full documentary for any1 who wants to see it

    By Anonymous doyler8, at August 11, 2010 1:30 am  

  • Massive respect. RIP.

    By Anonymous Hamish M, at August 13, 2010 9:19 pm  

  • i go to his old secondary school. we all have bad days and stuff but if we all had stuart`s mindframe, the world would be a great place 2 b in

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at August 15, 2010 5:29 pm  

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