The doctor will chokehold you now

Dr Matt Taylor and Mick Sumner
Dr Matt Taylor and Mick Sumner
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By day, they treat ill patients in Sheffield but, this week, these two clinicians have been putting their own health and safety aside after agreeing to a rather unusual workplace challenge: to brawl each other.

The pair - operating theatre colleagues at The Children’s Hospital - swapped their surgical scrubs for spandex as they went toe to toe in a specially-arranged wrestling bout.

“I’m an anaesthetist,“ Doctor Matt Taylor told The Diary ahead of Tuesday night’s bout. “So I’ll be trying to pull out a sleeper hold,”

By the same token, colleague Mick Sumner, an operating department practitioner, was presumably hoping to...well, practice some operating moves of his own.

But, while most of us will understand the temptation to put a work colleague in the occasional choker, what would make these two health professionals want to take to the ring?

A workplace rivalry, perhaps? A festering disagreement about sedating techniques? An argument over who looks best in a surgical mask?

Apparently none of the above. It was all in aid of chari-dee.

Matt, 48, and Mick, 52, agreed to get to grips with grappling to raise money for city hospitals. Their jujutsu bout was one in an evening when 40 novices took to the ring for fights at Marsden Martial Arts centre in Chesterfield. Both clinicians had spend the last month being trained before they set about each other.

“I’ve learnt quite a bit from the training sessions - such as how to tap out quickly,” noted Matt, of Tideswell, who nicknamed himself The Sandman for the fight. “The tap out is crucial. I think it’s going to be one of my most effective moves.”

He thinks a moment. “Plus I have a new appreciation for the power of frozen peas.”

As for Mick, of Ecclesall? “I’ve enjoyed our training sessions,” he noted. “Especially watching Matt get repeatedly beaten up by trained cage fighters - I wouldn’t have missed a minute of it.”

And it was Mick who judges ruled won in the end: “there was no skill involved, though,” he says the morning after. “We were like two tomcats scrapping over a bit of food”.

Still, the victor hardly mattered, really. The result wasn’t the important thing. “The real winner is charity,” says Mick. “We raised £200.”