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The Dangers of Football.

The Home correspondent of the Australasian writes ;—“ A sad death from the effects of injuries received whilst playing a football match has caused a lot of correspondence to appear as to the expediency of further alterations in the rules of both the Association and Rugby games. The unfortunate event referred to above occurred at Southampton. In a scrimmage Mr. S. E. Gibbs, a smart young fellow of 19, was trampled on, or otherwise so damaged that the lower half of his body was paralysed, and in this state he lingered about ten days and then died. The Mayor of Southampton has since forbidden the game to be played on any of the public lands about Southampton, whether it be playedunder Rugby or Association rules, until such rules be amended. Of course all this is absurd. To attempt to stop the national winter athletic pastime because someone gets killed every now and then is quite out of the question. The truth is, no laws will ever make football anything but dangerous if the players themselves will not conduct the game in a generous spirit. For a big, powerful fellow to dash a little, though game, opponent to the ground with force enough to half kill him, is, after all, a bit cowardly', even if it is ‘ the game.’ As said before, if laws be made that will deprive the game of all its dangers, they will also make it so tame that it will be deprived of all its pleasures. All that is needed is a little more consideration on the part of the players themselves. Only the other day a big match in Lancashire ended in a free fight, and although, happily, such scenes are of rare occurrence, yet, beyond doubt, players often ‘ let their angry passions rise,’ and it is then the danger to life and limb becomes a serious one.”

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The Dangers of Football., Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 272, 18 February 1881

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The Dangers of Football. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 272, 18 February 1881

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