Sports Physician - Athlete 1871-1873


Dutch rower Herman Brockmann (1871-1936) won gold in the coxed pairs at the 1900 Olympics in Paris, silver in the coxed fours and bronze in the eights. In the three competitions he was always the helmsman on duty. He graduated from the University of Amsterdam and settled in the Dutch capital as a general practitioner.


William Eldon Tucker (1872-1953) was a Bermudian rugby player, who played for the English teams Cambridge University, St. George's Hospital and Blackheath. He was selected five times for the British national team. He graduated from St. George's Hospital, specialized in Surgery and returned to Bermuda where he practiced Surgery at the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital. During World War I he served as a Surgeon at the front where he performed as many as 150 amputations.


Sir Andrew Balfour (1873-1931) played rugby for Watsonians and Cambridge University and was selected once for the Scottish national team. He graduated from Edingburgh University and joined his father's medical pratice. Within two years he returned to education and specialized in Preventive Medicine and Tropical Diseases. He traveled to Africa to serve as a surgeon in the Second Boer War. He then worked for 12 years as a Medical Officer in the Sudanese capital of Khartoum, where he succeeded to reduce the deaths by Malaria deaths by 90% through the removal of mosquito breeding grounds and improving the city's clean water systems. Thanks to a floating laboratory, a gift from Doctor Henry Wellcome (1853-1965), the founder of the pharmaceutical company with the same name, he was able to conduct scientific research in the upper reaches of the Nile, especially the blood disease spirochaetosis. He returned to Great Britain in 1913 for medical reasons. He founded the Wellcome Bureau of Scientific Research in London and organised the Wellcome Museum of Medical Science. The same year he did scientific research in South America and the West Indies. During World War I he served at the Royal Army Medical Corps, reaching the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. In 1923 he was appointed director of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.


Thomas Crean (1873-1923) was an Irish rugby player who played for Leinster, the Wanderers, Ireland and the British Isles, for which players from England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales were eligible. During the first World War he served with the Royal Army Medical Corps. After the war Crean was appointed Medical Officer in Charge of the Hospital in the Royal Enclosure, Ascot where he performed a life saving trepanning operation on a jockey who was thrown from his horse during a race. He also returned to his practice in Harley Street but by now his war service had begun to seriously affect his health and he was unable to maintain the practice. Towards the end of his life Crean suffered from financial difficulties and in June 1922 he was declared bankrupcy. He died from diabetes, aged 49.


William Hancock (1873-1910) played first-class cricket for Somerset. He also represented his country at tennis, and a severe knee injury prevented his international rugby career. He qualified as a surgeon but he specialised in ophthalmic work, and worked for a time at the Royal Westminster Ophthalmic Hospital, the Royal London Ophthalmic Hospital, Moorfields, the East London Hospital for Children, Bolingbroke Hospital and the Central London Ophthalmic Hospital. He suffered from abdominal pain for 18 months, which in December 1909 became worse and Hancock required an operation for appendicitis. The operation was successful, until four days later when he died of pulmonary embolism and thrombosis.