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In 1861, Charles Dickens reported, in his magazine All the Year Round, a rather eccentric cricket match being played at Peckham Rye in the grounds of the Rosemary Branch tavern. The match was being played between two teams, one consisting entirely of one-legged men and another consisting entirely of one-armed players. Dickens wrote:

The one-legged men were pretty well with the bat, but they were rather beaten when it came to fielding. There was a horrible Holbeinish fun about the way they stumped, trotted, and jolted after the ball. A converging rank of crutches and wooden legs tore down upon the ball from all sides; while the one-armed men, wagging their hooks and stumps, rushed madly from wicket to wicket, fast for a "oner", faster for "a twoer".


© Amusing Planet, 2021.


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