Sports Physician - Athlete 1856-1860


Lennard Stokes (1856-1933) was a rugby union international who represented England from 1875 to 1881. He also captained his country on five occasions. He played for Blackheath Football Club and lost only 6 out of a total 83 games.
Steve Lewis, the author of many rugby books, wrote about him:

"It was with much justification that he was hailed as the greatest player of his day."

In addition, he also played high-level cricket. After graduating, he started a family practice in Blackheath, but also worked as a surgeon at Lewisham's St. John's Hospital. In 1921 he went to practice in Hampshire.


J. Lee Richmond (1857-1929) was a left-handed pitcher in American Major League Baseball. He pitched the first perfect game from the baseball history when he played at Worcester Ruby Legs. He threw five men to the bench and only three of his throws could be hit. He graduated at the University of the City of New York and was later appointed Professor of Medicine in Toledo, Ohio.


At the age of 54, Graeme M. Hammond (1858-1944) competed in the individual foil and épée events at the 1912 Olympics in Stockholm. With these weapons he won five American titles. He was the first president of the Amateur Fencers League of America, attending the same position at the New York Athletic Club and from 1930 to 1932 at the American Olympic Association. In 1881 he graduated from the New York University School of Medicine, where he became a lecturer. While teaching at NYU, Hammond continued his education, earning a Bachelor of Laws in 1897. During his entire professional career, Hammond was a professor of nervous and mental diseases at NYU School of Medicine, serving as the chair in neurology from 1898 to 1920. During World War I, he was commissioned as a Major in the Medical Reserve Corps of the US Army, where he treated 78,000 soldiers as an expert in shell shock. He was a lifelong advocate of regular physical exercise as a prevention and cure for most diseases, including nerval and mental disorders.

Hammond suggested riding a bicycle as a treatment for nervous disorders, in which he included homosexuality. According to the Harvard Gay & Lesbian Review, Hammond thought that homosexuality was caused by "nervous exhaustion and that bicycle exercise would restore health and heterosexuality.

Although he smoked and drank daily, he was in good health thanks to his daily workouts. To celebrate his 80th birthday he ran four more miles on a track. He died in 1944 at the age of 86.


John Griffin (1859-1895) was awarded his one and only international cap for the national rugby team of Wales. Griffin was attending Edinburgh University in Schotland at the time and had played rugby for the University team. Although he had no ties with Wales, the fact that he was English, made him the 'least Scottish' person to choose from and he was brought into the Welsh squad. He was partly educated at St Bartholomew's Hospital before gaining a place at Edinburgh University from which he qualified. During the late 1880s Griffin emigrated to South Africa in an attempt to improve his health, after suffering from hemoptysis. He first spent some time in Pretoria before gaining a permanent position in Port Elizabeth, where he set up a practice. After several years his health improved and in 1893 he travelled back to England as a supervisor of small-pox patients on board a steamship. On his return to South Africa it was obvious he was suffering from tuberculosis and his condition worsened. In 1895 he returned to Southampton to spend his last days at his mother's home where he died on 13 July


Edward John Lewis (1859-1925) was called up as a halfback to represent the Welsh rugby team. He gained his Bachelor of Medicine in 1887 from St Bartholomew's Hospital and specialized in Pediatrics and Surgery. He operated at Marylebone's Clergy Orphan School but later moved to the Great Ormand Street Hospital to end his career in London's Royal Free Hospital.


At the 1908 Olympics in London, Dutchman Jan de Blécourt (1860-1925), competed individually and in team in the revolver shooting events. After graduating at the University of Groningen, he established himself as a GP in Nijmegen.