Wednesday, September 07, 2005
Self Mutilation ??
(same name different spelling though)(Chris Burrows) bit himself in the bum. It was on the Miner's strike in 1984. We had got to the stage where the morning ritual was to meet at one of the big sites for breakfast (Orgreave mainly) as there were some miners still working at this pit and there was almost always a number of strikers there. As there was a huge car park and usually about 6 or 7 PSUs from any number of different forces and we tended to stay there for some hours either waiting for the call elsewhere or an effort to "get at " the non striking miners got underway we started to play a peculiar form of footie. This usually involved 30 or 40 a side with no offside, two transit vans as goal posts, no referee and the only rules I seem to remember was that you didn't actually trample on someone who was down(although when it got a bit dusty and the ball was at the bottom of a pile of bodies it got a bit enthusiastic in the middle of the dust colud). Our PSU at this time was (and I am not ashamed of boasting) one of the best in the country and had all the latest kit. We had "team boots" with steel toecaps, ice hocky shin guards and protective boxes for your "bits" all topped off with a spiffy fireproof black jump suit and imported Smith and Wesson protective helmet. This being so we really got stuck in when it got to footie. One morning, after brekkie we were sitting about by the vans when someone produced the inevitable football - We had two PSUs on site this day so after leaving the drivers and a couple of PCs manning the radios etc about 30 of us "took the field" to challenge all comers. At this time Chris Burrows, who was actually on the other PSU (saved confusion when the bosses were being formal - i.e. when one called for "PC Burrows" only one of us would answer ?)
knowing that things would probably get a bit hairy as two Met battle buses had come in - about 50 of them and there was a grudge match with them (The London Metropolitan Police force always seemed to think that they were the elite for some strange reason and really resented the fact that we were better kitted than them at this time). Anyway Chris, knowing this took his false teeth "plate" out - this was one with bent steel wires which wound round the teeth to keep it in. Things got a little rough under these circumstances - He carfully wrapped them in his hankie (yeuk !!) and stuffed them in the pocket of his jump suit. The game commenced and as usual the ball disappeared into a heap of bodies every one kicking and hacking full bore. Watching professional footie on telly, the pros seem to collapse in writhing heaps in agony after the slightest touch - God knows what they would think of our footy matches (which incidently also went on until the last man standing - no half time etc) and teams varied in size as people dropped in and out for a fag or a drink etc. There being no shortage of blood flowing etc it was a suprise that after the ball moved on there was a solitary figure laying writhing on the ground. This of course gave rise to shouts of "don't just lay there do press-ups" and other sympathetic comments ! After a little while of this we thought we aught to have a look at him so shouted for the team medic (who, being a sensible chap was not playing). He took his little bag over to Chris and turning him over saw the spreading blood stain on the leg of his suit. "Shit" and other expletives - Might be a bit more serious than we thought ! Strip off jump suit down to knees, then face down on stretcher. What's that dirty grey rag covered in blood doing ? using some surgical tongs the medic tried to pull the now identifed hankie out of what appeared to be quite a large wound in the gluteous maximus. "Ere, there's teeth marks - them bastard mets have been cheating and bit him" Rumbles of discontent from a now interested audience of both TVP and METPOL officers all beginning to slowly edge into groups. "Hang on a minute, what this ?" and his uncovering of the wound revealed the top plate firmly sunk into his bum and the bent wires holding it in !! Great easing of tension all round as we all realised that he had bitten himself in the bum with his own teeth (the mind boggles!!) We all started laughing as he was stretchered off to hospital to have them surgically removed !! The game re-started in a much better spirit of comradeship - but still hard fought - in fact I think the Met actually won that day 54 to 51 before we were called out to a different pit. The local press got hold of the story and I think it actually made the national press - "Policeman bites himself in the B**M" stanger than fiction !