My little metal bar

At 14, I thought it was clever to jump off a radiator in school (Wandsworth School for Boys in Southfields, West London) to grab a pipe situated on the roof and attempt to swing on it.

‘Swing on’ became ‘Propel off’ very quickly and I went 20+ feet down the corridor, spun in mid air and landed on my chest. With my left wrist taking the majority of the impact. One broken wrist and a plaster cast which, as the tradition allowed, multiple people in my class wrote on it. One wag though put “W. Cramp” in large letters. Try explaining that to your folks! It mended and I carried on with my school life, as much as I hated it. There was a ZX Spectrum at home which was much more entertaining!

After numerous moans by me about the constant pain, I saw a few consultants at St. George’s Hospital in Tooting. They decided that they had to wait for bones to stop growing before they could put this damage right. Once I’d reached 18, the ops were on. The first one (early June 1988) put two screws in, which didn’t work very well. The 2nd operation (end of June 1988) put the above titanium bar and screws in.

At the same time, I lost about an inch in length during the fix. This was because one bone had grown, but the other hadn’t. Hence why I don’t like wearing long sleeved shirts, as it looks daft with the extra material continually going past the end of my hand.