Soldier Left With ‘Gaping Hole’ In His Leg After Bite From UK’s Most Venomous Spider


A squaddie who was bitten by a spider was left with a gaping hole in his leg which which was so deep it ‘exposed his muscle’.

Matt Clarke was bitten by a false black widow spider while in bed. He said he woke up from a deep sleep with and could feel a ‘tingly sensation’ so he looked down at his leg and noticed a tiny brown spider but ‘thought nothing of it’.

However,  the next day, he felt a burning sensation in his leg which became unbearable throughout the day – forcing him to go to A&E, where he was treated for a spider bite.


He thought that was the ‘end of it’ but a few days later, the wound burst open and he felt a ‘hot liquid dripping down his leg’.

Despite it not being life-threatening, he said the pain made it impossible for him to even walk and he was left with ‘a hole he could see his muscles through’.

Describing the incident, Matt, who lives with her partner and two children, said:

I just felt this dripping down my leg and it was a painful type of burning sensation. I then checked it out and the bite area had burst open – it was a hole I could see my muscles through.

I couldn’t understand why the bite wasn’t healing so I tried to find answers.

I researched spiders and my symptoms, and I realised I had been bitten by a ‘false widow’.


A doctor confirmed Matt’s online research and he returned to the hospital where he was given x-rays.

Medics told Matt the bite was ‘toxic’ and needed constant monitoring by drawing a line around the outskirts of the infected area to check for the spread of infection.

Matt added:

I’ve been in the Army for ten years, I’ve been all over the world and slept next to more dangerous spiders and never got bitten.

But I got bitten in my own bed.


The false widow spider is not deadly, but can deliver a similar bite to its cousin, the Black Widow, which can kill within hours.

If that’s not enough to get you checking your bedsheets, I don’t know what is.