Old Salopian John-Henry Carter (Rt 1994-1999) picked up more than just the Nomura Trophy when captaining Oxford University to Varsity Match success at Twickenham Stadium earlier this month.
The 30-year-old former Sale Sharks No 8 was set upon by opposite number Dave Allen during the first-half of a bruising encounter and had his left eye virtually closed by a punch.
The incident forced the psychoanalysis student to leave the field for running repairs, but he returned to play a huge part in Oxford’s biggest win over their deadly rivals from Cambridge since 1988.
The Dark Blues ran out 28-10 victors to make it two wins in a row, and the good news for Oxford fans is that Carter still has two more years to run on his course. He won his first Blue in 2009, but missed the 2010 victory after undergoing shoulder surgery.
As to his playing future, Carter was upbeat after the game – or at least before he had to go and have the blood squeezed out of the plum sized swelling beneath his eye – and looks set to carry on playing despite his advancing years and dodgy shoulders.
Having undergone six separate operations on the two joints he eased his way back into action in the build-up to the Varsity Match, but never held back for one moment on the big day as he gave one of the great captain’s performances in the 139 year history of the classic event.
As for his injury, and the way he received it, he was unperturbed: “It is all part and parcel of the game and there are no hard feelings. I told him that at the after-game dinner, and we had a beer together,” said Carter.