Friday, 3 December 2010

Not good enough

Earlier this year I highlighted the case of Clarence Harding, the Gravesend number 8 who has lost the sight in his right eye having been gouged during a match against rivals Maidstone in January this year.

A Maidstone player was subsequently charged by the RFU with making contact with the eye but, disappointingly for Harding, was cleared recently by an RFU disciplinary panel on the basis that the identity of the perpetrator could not be proven.

According to RFU disciplinary officer Jeff Blackett, "The injury to Harding was caused by a finger or fingers inserted into the eye causing a laceration. The injury was caused by a deliberate act of a Maidstone player...we are unable to determine who that was."

Maidstone Rugby Club could therefore now face charges relating to the misconduct of its players. Quite right too. The club's statement that its "sympathies remain with Clarence Harding who will bear the scars of this accident for the remainder of his life," tells us all we need to know.

As I said previously, Clarence knows who did it. Gravesend Rugby Club know who did it. Maidstone Rugby Club know who did it. But will anyone have the balls to do something about it?


anne bebbington said...

If Maidstone RFC don't identify this player and recommend him for a lifetime ban and prosecution they should be disbanded, all assets seized and donated to the injured gentleman and no-one from the club's heirarchy/management allowed to ever participate in the sport again - no sanction is too severe for this sort of nastiness!!!

Anonymous said...

If you can prove within a shadow of a doubt who did this atrocity, I would still not buy into it. There is no rhyme nor reason about this behaviour but one must have absolute visual proof. Banning a chap mistakenly for such an aggravated asault is simply as going overboard and not catching the culprit. This sort of ordeal takes agreat deal of time. This is grassroots stuff and cannot be tolerated but one must have proof.
I rather likje this. Miff

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with everything that's being said. However as has also been stated in the original article and as a player myself, any maidstone player on the pitch that day will know exactly who committed the act as will the clubs management. Unfortunately this has now gone past the point of no return for the club. They should have persuaded the player to put his hands up and admit to the incident as an accidental act immediately. As a result of this act the game has again been put in the spotlight for all of the wrong reasons. Maidstone shouldn't be disbanded but a statement needs to be made by the RFU. A considerable fine and relegation 2 or 3 leagues would seem to be a suitable punishment for a club unwilling to admit such a horrible act of violence that has no place in our game.