Sport – A Dangerous Pastime

Friday 28th November

I used to love sport, participating as well as watching it.  At school I was never that good at Sport, too weedy, not popular enough to get picked first I ended up in goal, where bored I would ignore the game only to find myself picking the ball out of the net occasionally.  Our Sports master, Mr. Soames claimed that Rugby was for men, Cricket for Gentlemen and Football for those who were neither.  I was small and therefore used to get knocked over at Rugby.  One day Grice, who hated me, tackled and twisted my ankle as he fell on top of me.  On purpose I might add.  I limped off the pitch and my foot swelled like a balloon and I was in plaster for weeks – but I never told on Grice.  One damaged foot was bad enough.  At Cricket once I was wicket keeper and the batsman swung at a high ball.  He let go of the bat and it hit me smack between the eyes.  Unconscious for two or three minutes but no permanent damage (I hope).  In Gym we had to jump off the horse and catch a rope swung by the boy in front.  Pip Wright thought he was clever and yanked the rope back at the last minute as I was in mid-air.  A dislocated elbow was the result, and my left arm is still wonky.  When I was five Dad took me to watch Stowmarket play football.  He perched me next to him on a rail at the top of the stand.  I fell off and broke my arm.  When I was about thirty I was playing football in the back garden and I miss-kicked (maybe I shouldn’t have been wearing slippers) and fell and broke my wrist.

None of which has dampened my enthusiasm and I still love swimming and the occasional game of tennis or ten-pin bowling.  But I have studiously avoided joining a Gym, I am sure I would be injured in the first week.  Which brings me to the sad news of that Aussie cricketer who has just died after a ball hit him on the head.  A freak accident I suppose, but a tragedy.  We all take Sport for granted and all enjoy it, but it is unpredictable and is actually a dangerous pastime.