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Looking back: Horrendous injury left player with 50 stitches
Sussex rugby was not in a good place at the beginning of 1992 when Chichester’s Hugh Brown needed 50 stitches for an injury described by club officials as horrendous.
It was accused that the Crawley captain deliberately stamped on the Chi man’s head during a match.
Brown said: “I cannot believe this was a case of another player running over the top of me to get to the ball.”
The match, played in London Three South East, ended in a 21-4 victory for Chi at Oaklands Park.
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Meanwhile, Hove beat Hastings and Bexhill 25-0 in the same league and Sussex Division One leaders Brighton chalked up their fifth consecutive win after beating Eastbourne 12-7.
Top of the pile in Sussex at the time were Lewes, who were struggling in London One, while Worthing were flying high in London Two after beating Gravesend.
Later on in the month, the Worthing squad were given health checks after a team-mate became seriously ill.
The unnamed player underwent extensive skin grafts after developing an infection following a training session at the club.
By the end of the season, Hove avoided the drop after being docked two points for fielding an ineligible player.
They were joined in London Three South East by city rivals Brighton and East Grinstead, who finished the season as champions and runnersup respectively in Sussex Division One.
Meanwhile, Seaford and Crowborough were promoted from Sussex Division Two as Division Three was officially scrapped after West Sussex Institute of Higher Education and Sussex University dropped out of the league structure.
While two teams dropped out, a 70-year-old rugby veteran soldiered on and showed no sign of slowing down.
Ron Hansford skippered Burgess Hill Vets against an Invitation XV in a match which ended in a 16-16 draw.
The RAF navigator travelled the world playing the game and was glad to be back on familiar turf.
He said: “Wherever I went I took my kit. In Cyprus the pitch was sand and compressed rock.
You bounced when you landed.
“I still love playing, and God willing I will be there next season.
“If I can’t get a game with Burgess Hill I ring around the other clubs to see if I can get one.
“My son Steven is coming up to 35 when he can play in the veterans with me. That’s when I start feeling old.”
ON THIS DAY
1935: Earl Bascom and Weldon Bascom produce the first rodeo ever held outdoors under electric lights at Columbia, Mississippi.
1948: The Honda Motor Company is founded.
1957: Camp Nou, the largest stadium in Europe, is opened in Barcelona.
1979: CompuServe launches the first consumer internet service, which features the first public electronic mail service.
1961: Jack Dee, English comedian and actor is born
1980: Victoria Pendleton, English cyclist is born
The Argus’ popular “Looking Back” feature has been compiled into an A4, soft back book which catalogues the events that have made their mark on the people of Sussex. The fascinating archive of “Looking Back” images dates back to the 1930s when The Argus first started to print photographs. The book costs £6.99 including postage and packing. To order please visit theargus.co.uk/store
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