Stoke defender Ryan Shawcross has opened his heart over the challenge that left Arsenal youngster Aaron Ramsey facing a year of injury rehabilitation.
Shawcross was shown a straight red card for the tackle that left Ramsey with a fractured right leg in a match at the Britannia Stadium in February.
The centre-back was selected for the England squad on the same day, but instead he left the field in tears and was in tatters after the match.
Shawcross told the News of the World of the challenge on Ramsey: "I turned around and straight away I could see it was serious.
"It hit me deep, I just felt for him. I wasn't even bothered about getting a red card, I was just so sorry for what I'd caused. That's why I was so emotional."
Shawcross, who was criticised by Arsene Wenger and Cesc Fabregas for the incident, added: "I'm a tough tackling defender and sometimes if you're a tiny bit out it can cause bad injuries - it's the risk you take when you play football.
"I'd obviously caused an horrific injury to someone and although I knew it was an accident, I'd still done it.
"It was just unfortunate he had his studs planted. I mis-timed the tackle and caught. I knew the damage the moment it happened.
"Walking off the field, I was gutted for him. And then you get a lot of stick from a lot of people.
"They have their opinions and that's the way it is. Most people were fantastic, they knew I didn't go out to hurt anyone. I'm not that sort of player.
"There was a lot of publicity and my name was mentioned a lot, which is unusual for me.
"It was difficult for me and the family, but at least the England call-up meant I couldn't dwell on it."
Shawcross continued: "I sent him (Ramsey) a letter and I also left him a voicemail, along with a text, but he hasn't responded. I think he said recently he just wants to concentrate on football.
"He wants to move on and that's fine because I think he knows there was no intent from me.
"I don't think he's got any hard feelings. It's fine, I just hope he gets back as soon as he can."