MILLWALL physio Bobby Bacic has thrown his support behind the campaign to save the accident and emergency department at Lewisham Hospital.
Lions players are taken to A&E if they sustain serious injuries during training and Bacic says the loss of the unit – under threat from proposed government cuts – would "hit the club hard."
If the closure goes ahead, players will have to be driven eight miles in an ambulance to either King's College Hospital or Orpington Hospital, which are both twice as far away from the training ground.
Bacic told NewsAtDen: "We have a really good relationship with Lewisham and, over the years, we have used the A&E department both for the professionals and the youth team.
"The care and treatment we receive is always first class and we value their medical opinions just as much as the opinions we receive from Harley Street.
"Our club doctor, Dr Imitiaz Ahmad, did a six-month placement at Lewisham and the experience he gained there helped mould his career.
"The loss of the A&E department would hit us hard as we would have to travel further and injured players would remain untreated for longer.
"This in theory could be gravely serious if the player suffers a head injury or a cardiac problem."
Bacic was also keen to highlight the importance of the A&E department to the local community. He said: "From a slighly different perspective, A&E departments accompany us throughout our lives.
"As kids, we needed them when we fell off our bikes and then in our late teens and 20s when we had an 'eventful' night out.
"As we get older, and hopefully more sensible, it comes full circle when we take our own kids to A&E. We are fully behind the campaign to keep Lewisham open."