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Head injuries force Bideford rugby player to take break

By NDJAndrew  |  Posted: September 19, 2013

Crouch

Bideford full back Adam Crouch is tackled during their win over Wells in the promotion play-off in May

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Bideford's Adam Crouch has been forced to take a year out of rugby because of repeated head injuries.

The 21-year-old full back has been knocked out three times in the past five months, leaving him with blurred vision in his left eye and damage to his brain.

He has been told that if he plans to play rugby again he must take a long break from the game.

So for Crouch, who was knocked out in Bideford's opening Tribute South West One West match at Bridgwater and Albion 12 days ago, the season is over almost before it had begun.

He said: "I was looking forward to playing South West One rugby because the club has never been there before.

"I would love to be playing again next season. Even if I take a year out I will still be young at 22."

Crouch's first blow came in Bideford's 20-3 win at Truro in a Western Counties West match in April. That was the worst of the three incidents and left him dazed and confused.

He was also knocked unconscious during a match in France during the summer.

Then, in Bideford's 37-5 defeat at Bridgwater this month, a blow to the jaw put him out for a few seconds and left him with concussion and headaches.

Other bangs to the head have also resulted in concussion and added to the damage shown by two CT scans. He is now awaiting an MRI scan.

Crouch, from Westward Ho!, has played for Bideford since under-14 level and enjoyed a breakthrough season with the first team last term. Making regular appearances at full back, he scored six tries, including one in the promotion play-off victory at Wells in May.

Earlier today, he tweeted: "Absolutely devastated to have to announce my temporary retirement for 12 months from rugby due to repeated head injury. #bringonnextseason."

Crouch's injury is another blow to Bideford who have seen former captain Andrew Loosemore give up the game because of a knee problem and further injuries to Simon Bright, James Buckland, Jamie Giddy and Andrew Mackenzie-Shapland, in addition to long-term absentees Olly Wickett and Nathan Giddy.

They have conceded 75 points in losing their first two games to Bridgwater and St Austell. On Saturday they travel to Camborne who finished second in South West One last season.

Bideford have a mixed recent record in Cornwall, winning four and losing four of their last eight trips across the border.

Bideford in Cornwall

Apr 13, 2013: Truro 3 Bideford 20 (tries: Brown, Thomas, Bright; con: Sanders; pen: Sanders).

Mar 2, 2013: Penryn 34 Bideford 19 (tries: C Snell, Buckland; pens: Sanders 3).

Nov 3, 2012: St Austell 17 Bideford 6 (pens: Wickett 2).

Sep 8, 2012: Bude 5 Bideford 25 (tries: Olde 3; cons: Wickett 2; pens: Wickett 2).

Mar 10, 2012: St Ives 15 Bideford 17 (tries: Dennis, Olde, G Snell; con: Wickett).

Dec 17, 2011: Bude 12 Bideford 22 (tries: Olde, O'Sullivan 2; cons: Wickett 2; pen: Wickett).

Dec 10, 2011: Truro 24 Bideford 15 (tries: Dennis, Buckland; con: Wickett; pen: Wickett).

Oct 29, 2011: St Austell 30 Bideford 27 (tries: Allin, C Snell, Olde; cons: Wickett 3; pens: Wickett 2).

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