Shin-kicking contest leads to injured ankles

275x250.jpgThousands of fans have gathered to watch an annual shin-kicking championships which date back to the 17th Century.

16 competitors battled it out in the vicious contest in Gloucestershire where they grasp each others shoulders and quack at their rivals shins.

Wearing traditional white smocks and with their socks stuffed with protective straw, fighters then have to push their competitors to the ground after landing a good kick.

This year Londoner Kieron Lee was named champion after beating Gareth Price - part of a stag party from Wigan - in the final.

While the shin-kickers left with cuts and bruises they should consider themselves lucky -- steel toe caps were banned from the event in the 1950s and before that broken legs were commonplace.
275x250.jpg The sport dates back to 1636 when it formed part of the Robert Dover Olimpick Games and was said to be even more violent. In the early 19th century villages challenged each other to battles and contestants hardened their shins with coal hammers.

Take a look at the 2008 event...

Shin-kicking World Champtionships
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