Gary Lewin has been involved in football virtually all his life. He was head physio at Arsenal for 22 years along with a stint as England physio.
Gary has recently opened a brand-new practice in Hainault, but like all businesses’ in this current climate, he has found it tough.
“It’s been difficult really.” he said. We recently opened up a clinic with my cousin Colin- Lewin Sports Injury Clinic- which we opened in October 2019 and was going very well until March and unfortunately due to the lockdown we had to close down, but the good news is this week we are preparing to open fully as of June 8th. So, we are getting all our PPE equipment ready and our risk assessments done and hopefully we will be up and running next week.”
Gary has spent most of his life at Arsenal and considers himself to be one lucky man.
“As a physio I’ve been very lucky as I actually started at Arsenal as a player.” He said. “I signed as an apprenticeship at 16 and was there as a player for four years before I got released and went on to play at Barnet for a year and then I was fortunate enough to be accepted into Guys Hospital physiotherapy, and whilst I was training there I was doing work with the Arsenal reserve team and in 1986 I joined and qualified as a first team physio for Arsenal.”
“I always wanted to be a footballer.” he added. “But that dream was taken away from me as I wasn’t good enough, so I had to decide what else to do. At the time I was debating whether to go into the police force or a PE teacher, but there was a physio at Arsenal called Fred Street who said to me at the time why don’t you go into physiotherapy. At Guys Hospital I got very interested in it and I went back again and thought this will be a great career for me.”
Gary is normally the man players look to towards getting excellent treatment, but he remembers one incident in particular when he himself needed treatment in a World Cup tournament in 2014 in Brazil.
“They put astro turf in the dug out area and they watered the pitch and we equalised through Daniel Sturridge and we all jumped up to celebrate and then as I went to go and get the drink containers I slipped and my foot went into a small ridge between the grass and the astro turf. Unfortunately, my body went one way and I went the other and I suffered a fracture to my left ankle. Unfortunately, I had to fly home and the team had to follow me home a week later because we lost a game to Italy and then Uruguay, which meant we were knocked out.”
The Premier League is set to return in the middle of June. Gary welcomes this news but is still cautious that there may be the risk of players getting injured.
“After having such a long lay off and without having any competitive or friendly pre season matches, players literally are going straight back into competitions.” he said. “I do expect a small increase in the number of injuries, that can be tempered by two or three factors. The first being without the crowd there will it still be the same competitive edge, plus it’s a level playing field as every team is starting at the same level and so they are all going to tire at the same rate. I just hope that there will not be no significant injuries.”
Gary certainly feels that the time is right now for the return of the Premier League.
“They are reducing the risk of players catching it to a minimum and they are doing all that they can to get it back on.” he said.
Interview with Gary Lewin