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Spider bite sidelines Tiverton football player
6:00pm Monday 21st October 2013 in Mid Devon News
ELMORE Football Club player Steve Harris is recovering after being bitten by one of Britain’s most dangerous spiders.
He has been told he cannot play for at least two weeks after he was probably bitten by the venomous false widow spider as he slept.
Steve, 22, had to undergo an emergency operation at Torbay Hospital to cut away the poison, leaving him with a painful open wound – although friends and team-mates at the Tiverton club thought he was joking when he pulled out of the squad.
Steve, who moved to Elmore from Cullompton Rangers two years ago, said: “When I woke up I had a pain in my side – a stinging feeling.
“I didn’t take that much notice until it started swelling and the pain got worse.
“It looked like a bite, although I didn’t know it was from a spider at the time.
“The area around the bite mark just ballooned and grew and grew. It was only when the area started to turn black four days after I first noticed the bite that I decided I ought to go to hospital.
“I went to Torbay Hospital and they instantly said I had been bitten by a spider – they said they had seen six other people with similar bites within the previous week. They told me the false widow spider was the culprit.
“They operated on me immediately and it took half an hour to cut away the area around the bite to get at the poison.
“I was in agony. I have never had pain like that before in my life. It’s still very painful now. I still can’t sleep properly and find it virtually impossible to get in and out of a car.”
The number of reported sightings and bites from the flesh-eating spider has risen significantly in the UK, according to the Natural History Museum.
Experts blame climate change for the increase.
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