Emergency services were called to Red Devil Park in Byron Bay yesterday after a player in the Aboriginal Knockout was injured during the semifinals of the annual event.
Alex Walker and younger brother Clinton had travelled from Taree for the weekend to represent their home side, the Tabulam Turtle Divers. During the second half of the match Walker, aged 30, was taking a hit-up when he fell amongst the opposition and landed badly on his neck.
Because Walker was unable to move or feel anything below his neck, the local ambulance service was called before it was decided to airlift him to the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane. As paramedics were preparing to move him to the Westpac helicopter, Walker did say that he was getting some feeling in his shoulders.
Alex arrived at the PA at about 2.30pm and was admitted after being stabilised in emergency.
The match continued after a break of over an hour. As play resumed Clinton Walker scored a try for the Turtle Divers but it was not enough to get them over the line. Cubawee Connections advanced through the semis but went on to lose the final match to the Byron Bay Arakwal Eagles 34–20.