Disability Voices

Crates, Danny (Part 1 of 4). An Oral History of British Athletics.

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  • Subjects

    Disability Athletics

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  • Recording locations

    Interviewee's home, Essex

  • Interviewees

    Crates, Danny, 1973- (speaker, male)

  • Interviewers

    Cutler, Rachel (speaker, female)

  • Abstract

    Part 1: Description of early life. Born Orsett. Local school - [Bower] Gifford then Gabelaw. Honed sports at Gabelaw. Rugby and running for Thurrock. Three year apprenticeship as mechanical engineer at Mobile Oil Refinery. Comments on work. Story of three car crashes - two in England, final crash whilst travelling Australia lost an arm. [02:24] Describes the year in Australia - best year of life - three months in Whitsunday Islands worked for backpackers - most enjoyable three months of life. Story of Australian lifestyle. Comments that made friends for life. Story of Whitsunday Islands - sailing, scuba diving. [06:23] Story - of car accident. Missed flight home - took on more work to pay for another ticket. Driving to Melbourne - hit by truck. Car in ditch - arm on lap. Climbed out of car carrying arm. Woman from house sat on top of him to stop him walking around. First instinct was to think of rugby career. Hospital ten days - four hour operation just ten stitches, arm sliced off by blade on back of truck. [10:00]Aftermath of accident. Remarks on drugs. Comments that lucky as orthopaedic surgeon on that night. Story - priest sat and talked in hospital. Story of first look at stump. Hospital counsellors - no help. Comments - attitude to living without arm. Kevin Lidlow local physio for year without pay - very strong because of physio. [17:34] Story - recovery, mentally and physically. Comments on personal attitude - personal philosophy forward focused. Story -sport huge part in recovery - returned to rugby within one year. Comments - rugby friends very important. [20:53] Story - from rugby to athletics. Comments - televised first rugby match on return with one arm. British Paralympic Association - Peter Arnot known as "the ambulance chaser", contacted Crates - two years later began athletics career.

  • Description

    Interviewed for the British Library project 'An Oral History of British Athletics'.

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