BRAVE Callum Taylor has told of the moment he almost died when a large gate hit him on the head as he retrieved a football.

And the nine-year-old, who has been left partially paralysed, has vowed to regain the use of his left arm and get back to playing in goal for his team.

Callum fractured his skull when he was struck by the gate outside Astley House, Albert Street, Burnley.

He was initially seriously ill and has been treated in the specialist trauma unit at the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital, Pendlebury, since the incident on March 23 At the time police said they thought Callum, of Sandhurst Street, Burnley, had fallen off the gate and banged his head on the pavement.

But Callum, speaking from his hospital bed with mum Lynsey, 26, and stepdad Paul Burdett at his side, revealed what really happened in the incident.

The Brunshaw Primary School pupil said: "We were playing football and the ball went into a back garden and I went to get it.

"As I did the gate swung and hit me in the head.

"I can't remember much but the next thing I do remember is being carried home by my uncle Chris.

"He was trying to keep me awake because I kept falling asleep.

"It was really difficult to keep my eyes open. When the ambulance men arrived they asked me how old I was but couldn't speak.

"I had to use my fingers to tell them my age."

The next thing Callum said he remembered was waking up in hospital. He said the staff at Pendlebury had been 'brilliant'.

He said: "The only problem is the babies on the ward cry all night and keep me awake. I like it when my mum and sisters come to see me because it cheers me up, but I just really miss being at home."

Callum, who has stitches on his right temple where the gate struck him, is upbeat about his recovery chances.

He regained consciousness a few days after the incident on March 23.

At first his speech was slurred and he could not move the left side of his body.

Now he can walk and talk. But doctors are unsure whether he will regain the use of his left arm.

Despite his injury Callum said he fully intended to start playing football again for his local team Leyland Road Boys.

Manchester United fan Callum said: "My left leg is fine now.

"I am a keeper and I have already missed one tournament.

"I just want to get back playing and I think I will do."

The whole family has pitched in with daily trips down to Manchester and at least one person remains with Callum as part of a constant 24-hour bedside vigil.

Lynsey said she hoped that Callum can home for a few hours on Sunday - a decision that will be made later tomorrow.

She said: "He is having ups and downs at the moment which is understandable because he has had a major accident.

"He has been spolit by everybody since he has been here and he loves the attention.

"It was a massive shock when we found out he had been hurt but we just hope he can get better as soon as possible."

Step dad Paul praised all the hospital staff who have helped with Callum's recovery.

He said: "Callum is amazing. The way he adapted and got on with things has been great for us all.

"All the staff and ambulance crew at both Manchester and Blackburn have been wonderful."

The Health and Safety Executive is investigating the incident.

Last summer Bubble Holdings won outline planning permission to demolish Astley House and build 28 homes.