Footballer gruesomely bitten by UK’s most venomous spider in Manchester home

His right arm began to swell up after he was bitten in his sleep

James Gray, a 23-year-old footballer from Wrexham was bitten by the country’s most venomous spider whilst sleeping in his home in Manchester.

Gray from Wrexham, North Wales was in his bed in his Manchester home a few weeks ago when the suspected false widow spider sunk it’s fangs into his right arm.

In the following days he struggled with a fever and sleep deprivation. Meanwhile, the condition of his arm began to deteriorate, swelling up and producing yellow-coloured pus. His veins were red and ‘popping out’ of his arms.

Gray was rushed to hospital on 16th February following the incident, after being advised by a doctor to go straight to A&E. He was then put on a drip and taken for tests to determine the damage of the bite.

False widow spider

He was forced to undergo emergency surgery to remove the infection from his arm. The surgeons had to cut out the infected tissue, leaving a gruesome cavity in his arm.

James commented  “They had to slice the infection out of my arm and it went quite deep. It started to puss out before I went for surgery and you can imagine how that looked and felt.”

The footballer spent several days in hospital whilst undergoing the operation and having IV antibiotics pumped into his body.

He was released from the facility more than a week ago, yet the wound has rendered him unable to train until it fully heals. “I’ve been told to be careful if I sweat, because that could cause problems if it got into the wound and I have to be extra careful that nothing touches it” he said.

James has since been raising awareness of the dangers of false widow spiders. “Don’t get bitten by a spider” he told users in one of his twitter posts. The footballer, who started his career with Darlington in 2011, plans to possibly add a new tattoo to his collection to ‘remember’ his spider bite. If he does he has only one inking in mind – a spiderman one.

A spider is capable of inflicting a bite to humans that is painful, but typically does not have long-term consequences. In contrast, the black widow spider, which is native to North America, can cause severe symptoms – and even death – through its bite.