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Hawkins Division 1 Profile - Mark Bacon
Mark Bacon played his 100th Division 1 match for Sumner late last month. Special as reaching that milestone always is for a player, it is the way that Mark did it that made it a truly remarkable achievement.
Mark you see was playing seriously injured. “I’d ruptured tendons in my shoulder and I really shouldn’t have played,” he says. “I was only going to play five minutes but the adrenalin kicked in and I played 60.”
Mark’s contribution helped Sumner beat New Brighton 31-24 at St Leonard’s Square. It was a terrific way to mark his century of Division 1 matches.
Mark has not played since he came off that proud day. He says he is still waiting to have the operation he needs although he can’t imagine that he will play again.
If Mark doesn’t suit up again it will be the end of a truly outstanding club career that has seen him play around 160 Division 1 matches for two successful clubs.
Mark says he figured he would get to the century for Sumner if he “hung round long enough”. He came over to the Seasiders in 2005-06. He had connections with the surf club in Sumner and his parents lived there. He has now even bought a house in the area.
“I have loved it here and feel very much a Sumner man now,” he says. He was fortunate to play for the club as it made its way up to Division 1.
“It’s been a special time for the club,” Mark says. “Having Scotty Robertson has been terrific and there could be worse coaches for a loose forward to have.”
Mark has been a major contributor to Sumner’s cause since it made its move up to Division 1. As reported in these pages, in 2010 he was named Metro Player of the Season. It was testimony to his dedication.“A lot of people thought that we would get a shock when we moved up to Division 1,” Mark said at the time, “although I think we proved something by finishing sixth overall.”
Mark, who owns a party hire business, says his injury has not caused him too much pain. He admits having stopped playing his body feels a lot better on Sunday mornings. His partner, he says, enjoys having him around more. As for the future, he may take up tennis or squash. He may even be lured to coach he says with a laugh.
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