Former England and Tottenham defender Gary Mabbutt was flown back to the UK, after a rat reportedly ate part of his foot while he was asleep on holiday in South Africa.
Gary Mabbutt who has 16 caps for England, had to return to the UK for surgery following the incident which caused him to spend a week in hospital — and has left him needing daily treatment. It was gathered that he has type 1 diabetes and has little feeling in his feet.
The incident occurred six weeks ago when he was visiting his daughter, who is working at the Kruger National Park.
“All the opponents that I’ve played against and I finally get taken out by a rat,” Mabbutt told BBC Radio 5 live. “I’ve gone to sleep and during the night a rat has come into the bedroom, climbed into the bed and has decided to chew on my foot.
“It’s made quite a big hole in my toe, going down to the bone, and ate underneath my foot.
“It bit my daughter’s thumb first in the other bedroom, and then she came into me and said ‘Dad, something’s bitten me’. Being in Africa, you think of snakes and scorpions.”
“Unfortunately the rat had had a nice meal and I hadn’t been able to feel it,” he added.
The former Tottenham defender still requires a daily visit to hospital to receive intravenous treatment to clear up his injuries. Spurs legend Mabbutt played 611 games for the club, despite being told aged 17 that he would never football again as a result of his diabetes.
Mabbutt injects himself with insulin seven times per day, and tests his blood 10 times per day. In 2016, he had emergency surgery after blocked arteries almost caused him to lose a leg and he can no longer run nor kick a football