Star Carlisle airlifted after lorry horror

Long career: Clarke Carlisle made more than 500 appearances for nine clubs, including Blackpool
Long career: Clarke Carlisle made more than 500 appearances for nine clubs, including Blackpool
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Former Blackpool defender Clarke Carlisle was last night in a serious condition in hospital after being hit by a lorry.

Carlisle,35, was airlifted to Leeds General Hospital after the accident on the A64 in North Yorkshire at 7.30am yesterday.

Carlisle, who made 93 appearances for the Seasiders between 1997 and 2000, was initially thought to have suffered life threatening injuries.

But reports last night said his injuries were not as serious as first feared.

Carlisle, who was born in Preston, went on to play for his hometown club and also made 131 appearances for Burnley.

Considered one of the most intelligent footballers of his generation with 10 Grade A GCSEs, he made more than 500 appearances for nine clubs in a career that spanned 16 years and became the first player to appear on Countdown. In 2002 he was awarded the title ‘Britain’s Brainiest Footballer’ by BBC Sport.

His last match was Northampton’s 3–0 defeat by Bradford in the 2013 League Two play-off Final at Wembley in 2013.

Since retiring from the game, he has been a regular pundit on ITV, working at this summer’s World Cup in Brazil and commentating on the Europa League.

He is also a leading ambassador for anti-discrimination group Kick It Out.

Last night, a host of teammates and well wishers passed on their support for the injured star via Twitter.

From promotion glory to key roles off the field

Professional debut aged 18 for Blackpool against Wrexham on September 2, 1997

Joined Queens Park Rangers for £250,000 on 25 May, 2000

Called up to England Under 21 side during the 2000-01 season

Had spells with, among others, QPR, Leeds and Watford

Ambassador for Premier League and Kick It Out - which campaigns for inclusion and equality in football

Co-commentator for ITV Sport