Meet the mudlarks, rugby princes of 1984

Horsham Rugby Club under 8s 1984
Horsham Rugby Club under 8s 1984

Little boys and mud go together like bangers and mash, cheese and crackers, Ant and Dec.

This rather sodden bunch of mudlarks from Horsham Rugby CLub’s under-8s were pictured in 1984



The brave young lads turned out in snow, biting cold wind and ankle-deep mud to compete in a mini-rugby tournament at Uckfield Rugby Club.

The boys – Ben Jennings, Philip Hudson, Alex Jones, Jason Brown, Piers Jones, James Briffett, Michael Thair, Richard Collings and Carlo Cavallo – are pictured with coach Chris Partridge.

The County Times reported: “Three teams from Horsham Rugby Club participated in this annual event, which they nearly had to cancel because of the appalling conditions.

“Two of them reached the finals and the under-8s – the youngest of them all – carried off the trophy.



“Having one of their best seasons since mini-rugger was started at Horsham in 1977, the under-8 team chalked up a resounding victory against Cranbrook in the early rounds by 32 points to nil.

“They followed that up with another determined display against Crowborough, winning 8-0.

“In the final against East Grinstead, the Horsham youngsters showed great character to win the day by 12-4, taking the trophy for the second year running.

“The under-10s also did well to beat Cranbrook 24-0 but missed the final after losing 8-0 to Uckfield.

Horsham Planets Trampoline Club in 1984

Horsham Planets Trampoline Club in 1984

“In the under-12 group, Horsham were in splendid form with a 12-0 win over Cranbrook and a 22-0 victory against Eastbourne. Their final with Uckfield was a titanic struggle in which neither team deserved to lose. During a sudden death extra time, Uckfield clinched it with a single try.”

While the rugby boys were trying to wash the mud from their ears, another group of youngsters were preparing to bounce for medals at Horsham’s Park Recreation Centre.

Members of the Horsham Planets Trampoline Club were pictured as they prepared to compete in their annual championships. The team were: Lisa Temple, Karen Durrant, Kim Dale, Tara Francis, Judy Scott, Jeanette Mc Fadzean, Sian Toews, Debbie Johnson, Julie Durrant, Lucy Stedman, Richard Winton, Keith Bowden, Mark Bowden, Matthew Winton, Rebecca Ottley, Rebecca Gibson and Angela Pritchard.

Did any of these young athletes carry their love of mud or bouncing into adult life?



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