A young footballer was fighting for his life after a horror smash on New Year’s Day that left a car hanging from a tree.
The driver, named locally as Gareth Knight, remained in a serious condition at Leeds General Infirmary (LGI) last night.
The 27-year-old from east Leeds was cut from the car by firefighters at around 9.40am.
A 28-year-old passenger also suffered serious injuries and was being treated at the LGI.
Mr Knight is believed to have played for Sporting Armley Football Club and now plays for Barwick FC.
Barwick FC manager Simon Yaffe told the Yorkshire Evening Post: “It was just mortifying when I saw the picture.
“I couldn’t believe that one of our lads was in it and it is amazing that they walked out alive.
“I have had a message from his partner and he is apparently coming round now.
“Gareth is very hard working on and off of the pitch.
“He is a good lad, he gets on with everyone and is a real character.
“All the players and management at Barwick wish him a speedy recovery.”
According to police, the Renault Clio smashed into a lamp-post before hitting a tree.
Phil Rayson was killed in exactly the same spot on New Year’s Eve in 2007 after losing control of a Vauxhall Astra and tributes had recently been laid under the tree in his memory.
Another New Year’s Day crash on the Leeds Ring Road also left three men in hospital.
A 28-year-old man was in a stable condition last night, a 25-year-old man suffered serious injuries and a 17-year-old male had minor injuries after a Vauxhall Corsa crashed into a tree and ended up on its roof.
The incident happened near Makro in Lower Wortley just before 3.30pm on January 1.
Police believe two other men were involved and were seen leaving the scene.
One is believed to have an abdominal injury and the other had a head injury.
Both made off in the direction of Geldard Road.
One was wearing a light coloured grey tracksuit and the other had dark jeans and a grey top.
Anyone with information should call PC 5161 Craig Blake at the Eastern Area Roads Policing Unit on 101.