A dad was rushed to hospital after being bitten by a false widow spider while gardening.

Ian Hamer, 48, was left with an infected wound that saw his leg swell up.

The contract manager, from Higher Bebington in Merseyside, felt a sharp pain in his leg on Saturday in their garden.

Wife Helen told the Liverpool Echo : "He thought he had been nicked from a branch, but on Saturday evening he said he had a pain in his groin.

"He also had a small blister appearing on his right lower leg. I thought he might have given himself a hernia".

Helen and his children told him he needed to go to A&E immediately

Over the course of the weekend, Ian's blister grew and filled with pus.

He tried taking painkillers and antihistamines, but nothing worked.

Helen, a nurse, said: "Like a typical male, he only phoned his GP on Monday. He was prescribed antibiotics, but at teatime the blister looked worse – bigger, redder, angrier.

"I was worried he was going to get really poorly with this."

During the night, Ian started to feel unwell and by Tuesday morning he had a temperature.

The couple believe Ian was bitten by a false widow spider

But it was suggested he persevere with antibiotics for a full 48 hours.

Helen said: "We have three teenagers and they were really worried and shocked by how the pain became rapidly worse.

"Their dad doesn't normally doesn’t bat an eyelid, but they could see he was really struggling."

Seeing him in such a bad way, Helen and the children told Ian he needed to go to A&E immediately.

That night, Ian was admitted to Arrowe Park Hospital with cellulitis – an infection caused by bacteria getting into the deeper layers of your skin.

He felt a sharp pain in his leg on Saturday

Helen said: "His leg was starting to balloon and his knee and ankle was so swollen.

"He spent two nights having various intravenous antibiotics until they found the right one for his infection.

"They couldn't let him home in case it became septic."

If the infection had continued, Ian may have had to have a chunk of his leg removed.

However, he no longer has a temperature and left hospital this morning.

Helen continued: "He had a further IV antibiotic this morning and has been put on nine days worth.

Ian's blister grew and filled with pus

"He will have to go back to the doctors next week for a check-up.

"It’s uncomfortable for him and he is in pain but the swelling is going down."

The couple believe Ian was bitten by a false widow spider, otherwise known as the noble false widow.

Helen said: "We believe it to be the false widow spider that bit him, after looking at other bites and wounds online, they look the same."

The NHS says bites from spiders in the UK are uncommon, but some native spiders – such as the false widow spider – are capable of giving a nasty nip.