A SPLIT kneecap could have left Zac Peachey penniless if the Moranbah Miners footy club hadn't come to his rescue.
The Gold Coast-based FIFO worker copped the blow during his first match for the rugby league club, leaving him unable to work at his job as a casual contractor in the mines.
"I had bills 'coming out of my head' because of all the medication," he said.
With a family to support and no way to earn an income, Zac was really starting to feel the stress.
That's when Moranbah Miners coach Dale Bloomfield introduced Zac to the club's "injured player's fund", a pool of money to help players who can't return to their mining jobs because of football injuries.
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"Most of (our players) work in the mines, and if you get injured they just put you off," Mr Bloomfield said.
"Some have income protection, some don't, but that takes about four weeks to come through anyway.
"So every Wednesday night six or seven of our blokes go up to the Workers Club and raffle off meat trays, alcohol, whatever.
"They usually make $600-$700 a night."
Mr Bloomfield said the idea kicked off in February, when five players were left with no income after a rough start to the league season.
"We give them $1000 straight away, and then just whatever they need," he said.
"They put it to food, power, we don't ask questions.
"We've got that much talent in town getting wasted, we even have ex-NRL players. But they don't play because they are too worried about getting injured and not being able to work."
Micahel Haack can sympathise with their concerns.
After breaking a collar bone during a game, the miner has been out of work since March 20 and doesn't expect to be back until July at the latest.
"If I broke it again, there's a good chance I'd get the sack," he said.
"I won't play again this year and next year (even once recovered) because I just can't afford it (if I get hurt)."
Does the thought of injuries put you off playing sport?
This poll ended on 18 May 2015.
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.
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