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Report looked back in horror at ‘brutal’ shin-kicking bouts
11:01am Thursday 16th June 2011 in Past
THE Journal displayed a photo of equipment once used at Dover’s Games shin-kicking competitions 75 years ago.
The report of 1936 said: “The belt is the championship award and bears illustrations of competitors engaged in the pleasing pastime. Both the shoes and the belt are now in the possession of Mr William Potter, of Alderminster.
“In shin-kicking, the contestants hold one another either by the shoulders or the hands and each tried to ward off his opponents’ kick and drop a kick on him. The competitor who succeeded in laming his opponent first was declared the winner.
“Dover’s Hill, near Campden, was the venue for the championship, which generally took place on Whit Monday and attracted crowds of spectators.
“It is stated that the last shin-kicking contest took place there in 1850 (the Dover’s Hill games finally ceased in 1851) and was won by Mr J E Wilson, of Lark Stoke, Ilmington, who defeated A Wilson, of Broadway. The encounter was a fierce one and resulted in the loser sustaining a broken leg. This was brought to the attention of the local justices who described it as a brutal sport and put a stop to it.”
However, since this report was written Cotswold Olimpicks are again contested on Dover’s Hill, and shin kicking, now without the benefit of metal shoe covers, is always one of the most popular events.”
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