McGill is fit again after FA Cup knockout

Albion's on-loan goalkeeper on a dramatic afternoon at Torquay - and missing nine goals!

By Bruce Talbot • 12 November 2020

By James Boardman
Tom McGill spent time on loan with Crawley Town last season.

Albion goalkeeper Tom McGill has made a full recovery after he was knocked unconscious during an Emirates FA Cup tie for his loan club Crawley Town.

The 20-year-old blacked out after a collision with a Torquay player during last Sunday's first round game at Plainmoor.

The game was held up for 18 minutes while McGill was treated on the pitch by Crawley physio Harry Brooke. He was taken to Torbay Hospital but released later that day.

McGill will have to follow FA concussion protocols and doesn't know yet when he will return to action but is just happy to tell the tale of a remarkable afternoon, which ended with Crawley winning 6-5.

“It looked like a through ball I could go for and I came out, spread myself and then the next thing I remember is the physio Harry [Brooke] standing over me. I don't think I blacked out for too long but, looking back at the replay, the Torquay players were really good. They got Harry on straightaway, so I am thankful for that.

By James Boardman
Tom McGill recently made his senior league debut for Crawley Town.

“I came round while the physio was standing over me and remember him checking my neck was okay, but it was all a bit blurry. I was then put in an ambulance and taken to hospital.”

Back at his home in Haywards Heath his parents, Sarah and John, were watching the game on TV. Because of the seriousness of the situation, the cameras stopped filming at one stage while McGill was being treated by which time Tom's parents were already in their car on their way to Devon.

“They drove down straight away to Torquay to pick me up and take me back to Brighton. I wasn't waiting in hospital for long so they must have been going quite quickly! Harry was on the phone regularly to check how I was.”

Crawley's general manager Tom Allman accompanied McGill to hospital and kept him in touch with an astonishing game which ended 3-3 after 18 minutes of stoppage time. Torquay then went 5-3 ahead in extra time, only for Crawley to score three goals to go through, the winner coming in the 118th minute. 

“It's just as well that I was down for so long because it gave the boys enough time to come back! When I went off it was 2-0 and Tom [Allman] came to the hospital with me and was getting updates on his phone, it seemed like every couple of minutes at one stage!”

McGill spent the second half of last season on loan at Crawley but failed to make an appearance. He made his senior debut against Millwall in the Carabao Cup in September and came on for the injured Glenn Morris to make his League debut as a substitute against Walsall last week.

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

“It's a lot different playing men's football to academy football. The gaffer here [John Yems] likes to try and play and I am enjoying myself. We've got a good group and the season has started pretty well. The more experiences you have of different playing styles the more it will help you in your career.”

But hopefully not too many more experiences like last Sunday.