Profiles of some Mitcham & Carahlton Vets players - the infamous "Bedwetters"
Don Corlioni Aitkinson
The Godfather of Mitcham Bedwetters, The Don, has ruled the left wing for more years than anyone can remember. A proud and strongly principled, political heavyweight, his iron-like grip on team affairs and tactics has long been ignored by Bedwetters.
His notoriety is famous throughout Figgs Marsh. Grandmothers huddle around smouldering fires with small children at their feet and tell dark tales of the Don’s exploits – the unprovoked attack on the spotty kid playing fullback for Bec Old Boys; breaking wind next to Lady Olga Maitland in The Star of India Tandoori take-away in Tooting Broadway; and the occasion he woke to find a severed horses head in his bed on tour in Paignton, called room service and had it replaced with an equivalent order of Linda McCartney tofu-burgers.
Joined the Bedwetters in 1993 as a utility player, able to drink in any position. His inability to remain sober has long been admired by opposition teams able to full advantage of his unconventional positional play and tendency to nod off. His diminutive frame belies a natural ability to create havoc in any opposition bar. Players’ wives, mothers and girlfriends have been known to stampede at the sight of Stiff striding into a club lounge in full regimental fire service uniform, down only half a shandy and proudly demonstrate a masterly display of incontinence.
Sir Paul Kier-Hardy
London Cornish 3rds had just scored a try in the corner and the kicker lined up the conversion. It wasn’t a bad kick, travelling high and in the general direction of the posts. It struck the far post knocking it sideways and as it did so it dislodged the bar from its socket. We all watched as the bar fell earthwards and knocked out the only Mitcham player standing directly underneath. There was a horrible twisted mess of limbs and rubber wear. It could only happen to Paul.
He played on.
Final score: London Cornish 3xv 97 v Mitcham 4xv 3 (match abandoned after 55 minutes when the Refs piles started playing up).
Sherpa is a quiet man with a huge appetite for the finer things life can offer. He is a dapper dresser. The creases in his rugby kit have been painstakingly ironed in and starched by his mother.
He is easily mistaken for a young Noel Coward as he glides through the saloon bar at Mitcham Rugby Club in evening coat and carpet slippers carrying a chilled bottle of Dom Perignon and two champagne flutes. Amidst the appreciative whispers around the room a lone voice might be heard from the back – "OY, WHERE THE FUCK D’YOU THINK YOU’RE GOING WITH THAT BOTTLE TUBMAN, PAY FOR IT YOU THIEVING SWINE?"
On the pitch, he’s crap. He wears his scrum cap back to front and wonders why he can’t see very well.
Herr Bertrand Fischer (Iron Cross)
As his name suggests, Bertrand is German by birth. Bert has been reticent to discuss his wartime exploits until recently when they were portrayed in the cinema.
As Commander of U666 in the Atlantic, he became famous when captured and his U-boat’s Enigma machine fell into British hands. The notes of his interrogation record his irate complaints that "I’ve been putting marks into that bloody machine throughout the war and it’s never paid out a bloody thing. Now you bastards have got it and I’m sure it’s about to cough up the jackpot".
Bert has an unsettling way of raising his flag and clicking his heels to indicate a conversion has gone over and then goose-stepping back along up the touchline for the re-start.
Rickard is another Bedwetting stalwart who is always there when you need him. He’s also there when you don’t need him. In fact, come to think of it, you can’t shake the bugger off.
On the field he’s always behind the play. You can usually see him running around and falling over in the mud in the dark at about 6pm when everyone else is in the bar. There’s devotion to duty for you. Younger members should take note!
Away from the rugby pitch, Rickard enjoys Chinese food and if the party isn’t swinging he’ll make sure it really hots up.
Thomas Whiter-Than White
The Reverent Thomas attends to the Bedwetters’ moral and religious needs, ensuring members remain on the straight and narrow. His regular pre-match sermon emphasizes the need for fair play on the pitch and goodwill towards the opposition. He also encourages players to socialize over an orange squash with any member of the opposing team who may have been unfortunate enough to have been injured during the game by an accidental trip, clash of heads, elbow in the guts, finger in the eye, kick in the head, punch to the jaw, gouge, rake etc. etc. Tom can generally point out to us which member of the opposition might have been the unfortunate person injured.
Thomas organizes the annual bedwetting crusade to carry the message to the furthest outposts of the country. In 2000 he will be taking the team abroad for the first time to enlighten the uncivilized hoards on the Isle of Wight. The hotelier had better count the towels, cutlery, beds, curtains, fixtures and fittings, waitresses etc. etc.
Garfield is a legend in Bedwetting folklore. His name is always the first one pencilled onto the team sheet by the captain. It is a great regret that throughout the history of the Bedwetters he has found himself unable to play on 47 occasions due to his grandmothers’ funeral(s).
Notwithstanding this unfortunate series of events, Garfield remains a fine ambassador for the Bedwetters at any formal meeting, dinner or cultural event and can be relied upon to know the right protocol when meeting that important guest, be they the Queen Mother, the Speaker of the House of Commons, prominent actresses and female media personalities.
Garfield once carried Will Carlings bags for him after a game at Twickenham. He often talks about the occasion in the Clubhouse and can produce examples of their contents should anyone be interested in buying.