HOSPITAL patient and Godmanchester Rovers captain Nicky Hurst asked for text updates from his team's game at Cornard United on Saturday - only to find himself inundated by them within minutes of the kick off.

The 30-year-old footballer was rushed to Hinchingbrooke Hospital on Thursday night where he underwent surgery on a complicated small intestine and bowel problem.

The centre back had trained with the first team on Wednesday night but had felt unwell later that evening.

He told The Hunts Post, exclusively from his hospital bed: "They told me it was probably trapped wind or constipation, and sent me home."

But by Thursday evening the pain had got so bad he was forced to call an ambulance.

His manager, and uncle, David Hurst, took up the story, saying: "He was really very ill and they were concerned about him.

"They rushed him straight in for the op and the specialist said it was only the second time in 25 years he had seen such a problem.

"It really was touch and go for a while there but Nicky is out of the woods now.

"The squad all knew on Saturday and they were obviously thinking of Nicky and his family - but they also really wanted to go out and get a result for him because they knew how much that would mean to him."

"I'm a fan of the club as well as the captain," said the player. "I asked the hospital for permission to have my phone by my bed and the lads promised to text me updates.

"I got five in the first 25 minutes! I couldn't believe it. It was an excellent result by the lads. I'm not worried about my place in the team though. I will hopefully be back in light training before Christmas."

Already without his nephew's central defensive partner Tom Moran, David Hurst - who is the joint manager of the ambitious Eastern Counties Division One club, alongside Neville Nania - called on farmer Rob Stamper, whose profession means he is unable to commit to being a member of each and every squad. However, Rovers' defence began up front when they scored five goals in the first 25 minutes and two more in the second half to defeat the Suffolk side.

"Nicky was delighted with the result," said the manager. "He started playing his football here and he will finish playing his football here.

"We bombarded them to be fair - for 25 minutes it was a bit of us being excellent and them being poor. In the second half they upped their game and made it harder for us. But we still got two more."

The first half goals came from John Turner - who hit a quickfire hat-trick - Stamper and prolific striker Paul Bass. The home side pulled one back in the second half before substitute Martin Prior got numbers six and seven.

The result sees Godmanchester sitting comfortably in third as they push for promotion this season.

They have won six out of seven games and are only below Whitton who have played nine games and drawn three, and Thetford, who are top after having won eight out of eight so far.

On Saturday Rovers are at home to Halstead Town, the team in fourth, two points behind.