Rochdale boss Keith Hill led the tributes to Anthony Pilkington after the Huddersfield winger suffered a suspected broken leg in an innocuous challenge as Town picked up a 2-1 win.
Terriers skipper Peter Clarke and several Rochdale players comforted Pilkington as he received treatment on the pitch before being rushed to hospital. Hill revealed players from both sides were in tears after witnessing a shocking injury which happened when Pilkington fell over following a challenge by Rochdale's Joe Widdowson.
Hill said: "The result of a football match doesn't matter when a player gets injured like that. It's a tragedy. It was a fair and even challenge. What's happened has been a shock to the system. Players were in tears."
He added: "Anthony is an exceptionally talented footballer with a big future in the game. We wish him a speedy and full recovery.''
Earlier, Benik Afobe finished neatly from close range and Gary Roberts produced an exquisite chip before Gary Jones hit a late reply for Dale.
On the game, he added: "It was a good performance from us but I thought it would have been unjust if we had equalised near the end. It was a great save from their keeper."
Huddersfield manager Lee Clark was visibly upset by Pilkington's injury.
He said: "I can't think of any other occasion where the result has been of absolutely no importance to us. The win was only important because Anthony would have wanted us to get the three points.
"We don't know how bad the injury is at this stage. All I know is that when he held his leg up his ankle was pointing the other way. It's knocked us all for six. Two or three of our players were in tears and a few of theirs were as well.
"I'd like to pay tribute to Keith Hill and all the Rochdale players and staff. Keith was as devastated as I was when I told him what had happened. And the reaction of Rochdale's players was sportsmanship at its best."
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