Mike Pejic is a veteran European taekwondo champion ©Getty Images

Former England left-back and over-70s British taekwondo champion Mike Pejic has suffered an Achilles tendon injury which could leave him unable to defend his European title, after being knocked off his bike near his home.

Before taking up taekwondo, Pejic played for the English men's national football team on four occasions, and also spent the majority of his club career at Stoke City, where he won the English League Cup in 1972.

He later played for Everton and Aston Villa before retiring at the age of 30 due to injury.

Having spent the rest of the millennium in managerial positions, Pejic took up taekwondo at the age of 62 and became the over-65 European taekwondo gold medallist.

Since then, he has enjoyed international success on the circuit, becoming an over-70 European champion too.

However, he has said the crash only 50 yards from his house in Shropshire left him "turned upside down".

Mike Pejic was one of Stoke City's stars during the 1970s ©Getty Images
Mike Pejic was one of Stoke City's stars during the 1970s ©Getty Images

His wife, Mally Pejic said he was devastated by the effect it could have on his martial arts.

"Mike is a very positive person but he doesn't like injury," she said to the BBC.

"He's in a lot of pain. 

"He's got a special boot that keeps the foot pointed like a ballerina so the Achilles isn't stretched.

"He's just worked extremely hard to get an over-70s group for taekwondo for competing because he competes for Britain.

"He was looking forward to training and retaining his European gold medal, and having another go at going for the World Championships when it is on this year - he's already won bronze and silver."

Pejic also acts as a commentator for BBC Radio Stoke, commentating on the matches of his boyhood club, where he made 344 appearances.