UPDATED: Young rugby player hospitalised after town centre assault

Adam Clarke, left, scoring a try in a rugby match last year
Adam Clarke, left, scoring a try in a rugby match last year

A vicious town centre attack on the eve of the Charter Fair left a young man seriously injured.

Talented rugby player Adam Clarke needed surgery for a fractured cheekbone and eye socket, after being hit by a metal bar in the assault in the small hours of Saturday morning.

The Old Gaol, Buckingham.'140224M-B259

The Old Gaol, Buckingham.'140224M-B259

Julian Cook, the chairman of Buckingham Rugby Club, has called for a stronger police presence and CCTV in Buckingham town centre after three of his players,
aged 19 to 22, were injured during the attack.

Twenty-year-old 1st team player Adam was walking with three friends in Buckingham High Street, at the junction with Verney Close, between about 1.50am and 2am on Saturday morning, when they became involved in an altercation with another group of men.

During the incident, Adam was hit in the face with a metal bar, leaving him with a fractured right eye socket and fractured cheekbone.

Former Royal Latin School boy Adam was taken by ambulance to Milton Keynes Hospital, and later transferred to the Maxillofacial Surgery Unit at Luton & Dunstable Hospital.

Mr Cook said the winger has had to have plates inserted in his face for life and two of his friends were quite seriously concussed.

Mr Cook said: “This very talented young rugby player won’t play rugby again this season and, depending on the outcome of his operation, he might not play rugby again.

“As chairman of the rugby club, I’m taking this up with the town council and I’m writing to the Chief Constable.

“We use PCSOs and there are not sufficient regular uniformed officers in the area.

“I heard they’ve arrested one man but there was more than one man involved.

“This young man could easily have lost his life. We could have been burying someone, rather than talking about ending his rugby career.

“We don’t want this happening again.”

Insp James Davies, of Thames Valley Police, said police officers were on the scene within 13 minutes of the first 999 call.

He said: “While this was a particularly serious incident, violence within the town centre remains low.

“The community should be reassured there will be a visible presence of both police officers and PCSOs in the town centre over the weekend.

“I understand that there has been some discussion around the amount of time it took officers to attend the scene of the assault and I can confirm that the officers covering the Buckingham and District area took 13 minutes, from the time of the first 999 call, to arrive on scene.”

A 47-year-old man from Bristol has been arrested on suspicion of wounding, and released on police bail until 1 December.

Anyone who witnessed the the incident, or who has any information, should call PC Amy Fox via the Thames Valley Police enquiry centre on 101. You can also contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.