Brighton loan keeper Tom McGill recovers from nasty head injury

McGill, 20, lost consciousness when he collided with a Torquay player in a remarkable first round clash at Plainmoor, which Crawley won 6-5 after extra time.

The tie was delayed by 18 minutes as a stricken McGill was treated on the field by Crawley’s physio Harry Brooke. He was taken to Torbay Hospital but released later that day.

“It felt like a deep ball I could aim at,” said the Canadian-born goalie. “I walked out and spread out and the next thing I remember was physio Harry (Brooke) standing above me.

“I don’t think I passed out for too long but, watching the replay, the Torquay players were really good. They grabbed Harry right away, so I’m grateful for that.

“I came in while the physio was standing above me and I remember he had checked that my neck was okay, but everything was a bit hazy. I was then put in an ambulance and taken to the hospital.

Crawley’s general manager, Tom Allman, accompanied McGill to the hospital. They managed to keep in touch with the epic FA Cup game which ended 3-3 after 18 minutes of stoppage time.

Torquay was leading 5-3 in overtime, but Crawley sort of scored three goals to pass.

“It’s also good that I’ve been down for so long because it gave the boys enough time to come back,” McGill joked.

“When I left it was 2-0 and Tom [Allman] came to the hospital with me and was getting updates on her phone, it seemed like every two minutes at one point!

McGill hopes to return to play soon and continue his loan with Crawley, but will have to follow FA concussion protocols.

“With the number of players who can’t get a contract, I think it’s even more difficult now to get a loan than it has been, so be here at a local club and at least play in cup matches is something I couldn’t turn down.

“It’s very different to play men’s football compared to academic football. The gaffer here [John Yems] love to try and play and have fun.

“We have a good squad and the season has started pretty well. The more experiences you have with different styles of play, the more it will help you in your career.”