After George Boyd’s signing for Nottingham Forest falls through – we ask is perfect vision necessary for footballers?
George Boyd's signing for Forest fell through this week after it emerged he had failed a sight test. Bryan Henesey asks if 20/20 vision is really necessary for footballers?
IT was a late twist that Nottingham Forest fans didn't see coming.
With the club gearing up to unveil new signing George Boyd late on Thursday night, news filtered through that the move had unexpectedly collapsed.
While Forest didn't comment on the reasons, Boyd's club Peterborough United said it was due to an "inconclusive vision test as part of the medical".
The news was met with disbelief by some footballers in Notts.
Carlton Town FC striker Ian Brown, 27, has worn contact lenses while playing football for the last decade.
The former Glapwell and Sutton Town player, who lives in Mansfield, said: "I can't understand why that would fail a medical.
"The only reason I got contacts was for football. As far as I'm concerned, when I've got contacts on I've got my eyes back.
"I'm short-sighted and I couldn't play without contacts."
His manager, Les McJannet, said he'd be more than happy for Boyd to play for Carlton Town in the Evo-Stik First Division South.
He said: "It seems quite a strange issue. I've been a manager quite a few years now and have had at least one player who has worn contact lenses.
"Sometimes they have come out in a game but I don't think it's caused them any problems.
"It wouldn't put me off signing someone."
The move would have meant a second spell at the City Ground for Boyd, who was there on loan in 2010 and scored one goal in six appearances.
Posh chairman Darragh MacAnthony announced the collapse of the transfer on Twitter late on Thursday, describing it as "farcical and ridiculous".
He said: "Apparently after playing 300 games in six and half years, his vision isn't 20/20 so no deal."
The news came just a few hours after Notts County FC had sent three of its players for eye tests at the West Bridgford branch of club sponsors Vision Express on Thursday afternoon.
Hamza Bencherif, Liam Mitchell and Enoch Showunmi were all given the all-clear following their tests.
Notts County cheekily posted news of the successful sight tests on its website yesterday morning.
Meanwhile, the Nottinghamshire FA stressed the beautiful game could be played by anyone, whatever the level of their eyesight.
Ricky Stevenson, county development manager for Nottinghamshire FA, said: "Grassroots football is for all, including partially sighted and the blind.
"England have a blind football team and Team GB had a team at the Olympics and Paralympics. They've been awarded finance to develop a professional national team in the run-up to the 2016 Games in Rio.
"Whether you've got good eyesight or not, you can play football.
"We've just started a blind football team in Nottingham, and provide opportunities for the partially sighted too."
And as for match officials, Mr Stevenson added there was now no requirement for referees to take an eye test.
Nottingham Forest FC did not comment.