There were a group of about eight of us, stretching out and enjoying the sunshine. The cricket match we were watching had adjourned for the tea interval. The gap in play gave us the chance to discuss the latest scandal at the club. The exploits of Carstairs, one of the colts, a man barely turned eighteen but promoted to the full county side, was splashed all over the newspapers that day. The pup had been arrested for being drunk and disorderly a couple of nights earlier. He was awaiting a court case. There would inevitably be a fine and perhaps an additional sentence of community service.
But, we were discussing, should the club impose an additional sanction? A further fine, or a suspension perhaps, for there was no doubt in any of our minds that Carstairs had brought the club into disrepute. He had most certainly let the side down.
It was at this point that Old Harry told his story. I do not know Old Harry’s surname. I can’t be sure that any of us do. He has been a stalwart of the club for half a century or more. If asked, I would hazard a guess that he won’t see his eightieth birthday again. He settled back, took a large sip from his half-full plastic pint glass and launched into his tale. This is what he told us.
“It involved a young lad. About the same age as Carstairs. He wasn’t a drunk. Well not that we knew of, but he was a bumptious little oaf. He had been promoted to the full county side. He was a very useful number four batsman and a crafty spin bowler. We won many a game thanks to the little tyke.
“But oh, he was an arrogant sod. The cock of the walk. He knew he was good. What he forgot and needed to be told was that in cricket there are those that lead and those that are led. And, any eighteen-year-old, no matter how talented, was at the bottom of a very long ladder. He had a great habit of telling his elder and betters what they should do.
“Well to cut a long story short, the other players were right cheesed off. But what to do? How could they cut the lad down to size?
“‘Spanking,’ one fellow said.
“‘Come again?’ another queried.
“‘Spanking,’ the first fellow repeated.
“‘I’m not with you,’ another chimed in.
“The first fellow was becoming quite exasperated by now. ‘Spanking,’ he spoke clearly so even a dull foreigner could understand. ‘As in, “Take down your trousers. Underpants too maybe. Bend over my knee” A spanking!”
“Well, of course they got the drift. This was back in 1962 so it wasn’t that unusual. They still used the cane at school. You’d get the belt from your dad if you misbehaved at home. Our local vicar was known to take a choirboy or two across his knee when events warranted it.
“There were no murmurs of dissent. All were in agreement. That was exactly what was needed. A spanking. And, of course the club captain was the very man to deliver it. He was quite a young chap himself at the time. Had been school captain as well, so he was well versed in delivering corporal punishment to boys in his charge. I think they discussed the possibility of acquiring a whippy rattan cane, y’know the ones with the curved handle, to deliver an authentic six-of-the-best across his stretched backside. It wouldn’t have been too difficult to get one. You could buy them in sixpenny bazaars back then. Besides, there were at least two local headmasters on the committee, they could have supplied the wherewithal.
“The idea was quickly dismissed. The boy needed to be taken down a peg or two. Or three even, he was that arrogant! No, it had to be an over-the-knee-spanking. Just like a small child. That would properly teach him a lesson. Humiliate him a little.
“So after a spell practicing in the nets they all adjourned to the pavilion. In those days it was a rickety old building that doubled up as a storeroom for old furniture and whatnot. Not the magnificent beast it is today. They circled the brat and thereby had him trapped in the corner. The club captain was, of course, their spokesman, and verbally tore into the boy. He was dumbfounded at first, then he protested a little. Was he not the star of the team? Had not the local paper written extensively about him? This only served to deepen the club captain’s resolve. An entire litany of offences was read to the boy. Chief among these was his refusal to behave like a junior and to show his older and wiser colleagues the respect they deserved.
“‘So,’ the club captain said with all the authority that came with his position, ‘You are to take a spanking.’ I suppose you might have heard a pin drop at that moment, the silence was so intense. The boy’s face fell. His jaw dropped. His mouth opened and closed. He might have been expected to voice a protest. He could not make an escape for as I said he was surrounded by team mates. There were only two courses of action open to him. He could submit meekly to the demands of the club captain, or he could resist and be forced over the older man’s knee. They were certainly enough men present to overpower him.
“It would never happen today of course. Can you imagine an eighteen-year-old, any eighteen-year-old, never mind a so-called ‘star player’ doing this. There was an eerie silence. The club captain broke it by taking up a wooden chair, unfolding it and plonking it down onto the wooden floor. He sat himself down on it and turning to the boy, he clicked his fingers, pointed at the boy’s midriff and said clearly, ‘Take down your trousers.’ There was a moment’s hesitation, so he spoke some more, ‘Right now. I haven’t got all day.’
“The club members moved away a little to give the boy space. He was, of course, entirely conscious that his team mates were present and intended to stay and witness his ordeal. That was to be an essential part of the punishment. The embarrassment, nay, the humiliation of being spanked by the club captain in public.
“Corporal punishment was common in those days as I said and the boy was no stranger to it. With steady hands he undid his trousers and guided them down his legs until they settled above his shoes. He was wearing white Y-front underpants as everyone did in those days. His white shirt covered most of his buttocks and private parts.
“‘Come here,’ the club captain reached out his hand and gripped the boy by his elbow and pulled him gently towards him. ‘Bend over my knee.’ When the boy showed a little too much hesitation the club captain sighed heavily and pushed the boy over. He gave no resistance and was soon settled face-down across the club captain’s lap. In comparison to his tormentor, the boy was small and he fitted comfortably into his submissive permission. He rested the palms of his hands into the dirty wooden floorboards. This way his head was low and his bottom pointed up towards the ceiling. He closed his eyes trying to block out the reality of his situation.
“The club captain took hold of the end of the boy’s shirt and tucked it up his back. Now he was staring at a firm, round bottom, encased in tight white underpants. He gripped the boy firmly around the waist with his left arm to make sure he wasn’t going anywhere. Then, with his right hand he gripped the waistband of the underpants. Every one of the onlookers must have seen the vision of horror that spread across the boy’s face. ‘These serve no useful purpose at a time such as this,’ the club captain intoned as with two or three tugs he had the underpants down at the boy’s feet with the trousers. ‘Ah,’ the club captain could hardly contain his delight, ‘A bare bottom. Well, my boy I hope you feel suitably ashamed.’
“It wasn’t a question and he didn’t expect an answer which was just as well because the boy simply gulped loudly and once more closed his eyes tight. His face and neck were scarlet and soon so too would be his bottom. The club captain was not yet ready. He cupped his right hand and gently used it to caress the boy’s shiny bottom. He pinched the peaks of the cheeks and stroked the undersides where they join with the backs of the thighs.
“He was ready now. He raised his hand high and let fly. The sound of the palm of his hard hand connecting with force with the fleshy bottom echoed around the small room. He spared no energy. The club captain was both a fine pace bowler and a slogger of the ball. He had a great deal of strength in his upper body which he demonstrated that afternoon. The spanks rained down like machinegun fire. Rat-a-tat-tat! Rat-a-tat-tat! Rat-a-tat-tat! In no time every square inch of the boy’s buttocks – both of them – and also the soft underside (the sit-spot) glowed bright pink.
“The boy tried to be stoical, to take his punishment without fuss, but soon his bottom was boiling. His gasps and not-quite-silent yaps rent the air. His hips twisted and turned. His head neighed from side to side like an excited horse. His legs flailed so that first his trousers and later his white Y-fronts were kicked across the floor.
“The club captain spanked on and on. Surely, the palm of his hand must have hurt just as much as the boy’s bum. If it did it did not deter the club captain. He was indeed a leader of men. I suppose that had he thought of it at the time, he might have let up the spanking to save his hand and then turned the boy over to the club’s vice-captain to continue the punishment. Heavens, every man in the team might have been given a go.
“But that wasn’t the intention and that did not happen. The club captain fair blistered that boy’s backside. He was suitably chastened. Humbled and humiliated. At last he was released and without a mere glance towards any of his clubmates he scooped up his clothes and ran from the room.”
Old Harry finished his story there. He had also finished his pint and he waved the empty glass in the air and I took the less-than-subtle hint and took it to the bar. As I waited for a fresh beer to be pulled I looked across the pavilion at the story teller. His face was flushed and his eyes were rheumy and he wriggled his buttocks on the chair where he sat. He looked as if he were in some discomfort. I took the beer, along with another for myself, and gingerly, anxious not to spill a drop I made my way back to Old Harry. I resolved to discreetly learn his second name. It would then be no problem to check who starred in the team back in 1962.
Picture credit: Sting Pictures
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More stories from Charles Hamilton II are on the MMSA website
Also writing school stories as Scholastic here
Charles Hamilton the Second