Now that’s what you call a tackle!

Paul Strangeman tackling Peter O'Sullivan in 1988
Paul Strangeman tackling Peter O'Sullivan in 1988

When it’s played well, it’s easy to understand why football is referred to as the beautiful game.

But it was much more exciting when the matches were full of crunching tackles and referees who didn’t think every foul warranted a card.

The Pop's Choice team in the Burgess Hill pram race of 1988

The Pop's Choice team in the Burgess Hill pram race of 1988

Take our picture of a game between Haywards Heath and Whitehawk in 1988.

As challenges go, the tackle from Steve Hards on Whitehawk’s Peter O’Sullivan was certainly enthusiastic.

It could be argued his foot was a little high, his studs a little prominent and his control a little, well, lacking, but his determination to get the ball was 100 per cent clear!

It was probably a good job Steve wasn’t playing his football at a higher level; 1988 was the year watching the footie on TV – other than Match of the Day – really took off.

Janice Mackelden kicks off a match at Burgess Hill Rugby Club in 1988

Janice Mackelden kicks off a match at Burgess Hill Rugby Club in 1988

Elton Welsby, the top presenter of the day, would probably have had a few harsh words to say about the challenge after he had watched it in slow motion from 47 different angles.

As for the match itself, despite young Steve’s best efforts, Heath lost the game 3-0.

Over in Burgess Hill, 14 teams chose a much more unusual way to get some exercise – and raise money for good causes.

The annual Bank Holiday pram push saw some weird and wonderful decorations on the prams as the teams charged through the streets.

Football at Marle Place, Burgess Hill 1988

Football at Marle Place, Burgess Hill 1988

Organised by the Mid Sussex Chamber of Commerce, the event raised money for stroke clubs in Burgess Hill and Haywards Heath.

The route finished – of course – at a pub, the Potters Arms, where the Mid Sussex Times cup for the best dressed vehicle went to the team from Edward House nursing home, who donned Edwardian dress, complete with posh hats and twirly moustaches.

They had edged out the team from Mid Sussex District Council whose replica model of an ocean liner was described as “a marvellous effort...which strictly did not look too much like a pram”.

There were celebrations at Burgess Hill Rugby Club with the opening of a new clubhouse after the old one was destroyed by fire. An exhibition match was held between a home team XV and a London Division XV, which was mostly made up of Under 21 players, including two with England caps.

The first ball was kicked by Mid Sussex District Council chairman Janice Mackelden and Burgess Hill did themselves proud. Although the game was lost, the team led 12-9 at one point and put on a good show for the spectators.

The celebrations also featured a display of mini rugby involving 60 children aged from under eight to under 12. The clubhouse itself was open by Captain MA Peahy, vice-president of the Rugby Football Union.

Our final picture shows a bunch of determined young lads who refused to let the torrential rain stop them protesting plans to build houses on their recreation ground.

The site in question was Marle Place and the boys held a rather muddy football match, that was organised by the Marle Place Action Group.

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