Mail Memories: Hallaton shake off losing spell

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They came in the rain to Hallaton’s Hare Pie Hill - in Mackintosh, gabardine, overcoat and oilskin, the 300-odd spectators arrived.

While the water trickled down their backs and squelched inside their boots, they stayed to watch the home side put an end to neighbouring Medbourne’s three-year run of victories in the traditional Bottle Kicking event.

Struggle in the slush, massacre in the mud, battles in the brooks - all suitable descriptions of the 1951 event.

One spectator, Robert Webb, from the Cadenza Cafe, Market Harborough, received a split forehead when he was hit by the bottle.

Dr Pickering attended the victim, inserting stitches into the wound.