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Brizer2k7
22-Aug-07, 18:01
Talented local footballer 'stable' after A99 crash

By Elizabeth-Anne Mackay - e.mackay@nosn.co.uk
Published: 22 August, 2007

A YOUNG Wick footballer remained in a stable condition yesterday at an Edinburgh hospital where he is being treated for serious injuries sustained in a horrific road smash in Caithness.

John Farquhar had to be freed from the wreckage of his black Peugeot 206 after it ploughed into the side of an unoccupied house on the A99 Wick to John O'Groats road south of Keiss on Friday.

It was reported that the 21-year-old joiner's condition had significantly deteriorated over the weekend and that he had lapsed into a coma. Yesterday, an NHS Lothian spokesman told the Caithness Courier that he was in a stable condition at the city's Western General Hospital.

Mr Farquhar, who plays for local teams Halkirk United and Wick Thistle, is understood to have sustained multiple injuries as a result of the accident, which happened shortly after 5.30pm on Friday. He is thought to be receiving treatment for a head injury and a broken leg.

Meanwhile, police in Wick have issued an appeal for anyone who may have witnessed the accident to come forward. They are also keen to trace the occupants of a silver Peugeot which was spotted at the scene.

Yesterday, the chairman of Halkirk United, Christie Cameron, described John Farquhar as one of the fastest wingers in Caithness and wished him a quick recovery.

"It is a sad affair when you hear any news like that, especially when you know him so well," Mr Cameron said. "John has played with the team for a long time and he was coming back to play for us again this season.

"He is popular with all the boys and is a very talented player very fast. I'd say he was one of the fastest wingers up here.

"Hopefully he'll make a comeback it would be nice to see him do that. We wish him well and a speedy recovery, and hopefully he'll be back with us soon."

Mr Cameron added that he hoped the team's win against Golspie on Saturday had cheered Mr Farquhar up.

Wick Thistle chairman Tommy Sutherland, who learned of the accident through a text message on Saturday morning, said the news had been a shock.

He said yesterday: "I've been keeping in touch with a friend of John's father on a daily basis to see whether he's up or down. We're all just trying to find out the whole story because there's been so many conflicting reports. Obviously everyone is devastated by the news. Everybody likes John. Until we know what the situation is, everybody is just guessing."

A number of messages of support and have also been offered by Mr Farquhar's friends on his online social networking site Bebo.

"Hope u get better soon, we are all thinking of u and praying that u make a speedy recovery, u gave us all a scare. I hope you get well soon," said one.

Another added: "Been speakin 2 ur dad every day, he has been keepin me informed of ur progress, u can do it. Thinkin of u."

The Caithness county league football season came to a premature end on Friday evening after the last in a convoy of cars from Keiss came upon the accident involving Mr Farquhar.

Keiss were due to have met Wick Groats in the final of the second division Steven Cup in Lybster.

The subsequent upset caused to the Keiss contingent led to the club deciding against fulfilling the fixture.

As Keiss were responsible for postponing the match from its scheduled staging the previous Friday because of the clash with the village's gala, they opted to forfeit the tie. The Steven Cup trophy was presented to Groats.

* An 18-year-old male was taken to Caithness General Hospital on Friday night after being involved in a separate three-vehicle accident on the A99 between Wick and Reiss. The crash happened at the junction near Ackergill Tower and the road was closed for a time. The man's injuries were not thought to be serious. Police enquiries are ongoing and a report will be sent to the procurator fiscal.