Monday, April 02, 2007

Sean Corner ~ Let’s Help a Brave Young Man

October 4, 2006

Al Charron tells us about a recent rugby tragedy in Hamilton, and what all of us rugby supporters can do to help:

Injuries certainly will happen in whatever sport you choose to play be it a contact sport or not. No doubt some sports have a higher risk of injury than others and certainly to those unfamiliar with rugby they believe it is nothing but injuries and mayhem but of course that is not so.

I know of many rugby players who have played sports all their life and have suffered injuries more so in other sports than when they were rucking and mauling.

Yes, it is true I have had my share of bumps and bruises over the course of my playing career and some were nothing more than an inconvenience that was self treated or looked after by invaluable physios though on some occasions I unfortunately found myself on the operating table. Surgeries and rehab is less than fun and most of the time you’re just counting the days or the months until you can return to the paddock at 100%.

Nuisance, annoyance, bother, irritant may be words I and others have used when finding oneself unable to play the game of rugby that we love, or having the minor inconvenience of not being able to function accordingly in our every day life due to an injury that has rendered us temporarily our of sorts but spare a thought for the ever small percentage of people who get seriously injured or disabled from playing sports.

Miss a game? A week? A month? Pittance when it comes to catastrophic injuries

What about the poor young man from Hamilton and what he is presently coming to grips with? As you may well have heard - a young player (21 years of age) from the Hamilton Hornets Sean Corner - suffered a very serious injury in a game on Saturday September 9th 2006, which resulted in him suffering such a destructive injury that it will see him spend the rest of his life in a wheelchair.

Devastating injury with inconceivable consequences, not for a week or a month or two but for life. This young man’s life has been incredibly rocked to the core.

The rugby club and the community is rallying behind this young man and his family to try to ease their burden from this dreadful tragedy by organizing fund raisers and such to alleviate some of the costs for equipment, medical bills, and various incidentals that will mount up for this young man and his family as they deal with this most unfortunate accident.

Money is tight for many a person in this day and age but I am asking for you dear reader and member of the rugby community to look into your heart and possibly dig deep into a pocket or two, maybe crack open a piggy bank, or forego the beer this weekend and perhaps find the time to donate some money big or small towards the benefits of helping this young man through this trying time. [...]

Life may or may not be treating you right at the moment but I hazard a guess it might be treating you a bit better then what was dealt this young man recently. If finances prevents you from being able to donate then please spare a moment for a prayer or thought for the life crisis Sean, his family and friends are going through at the moment as they come to grips with the reality and severity of what transpired that tragic September 9th game day.


Please read below for more on the young player from Hamilton, Sean Corner and the accompanying info/e-mail that has been circulated around the rugby community appealing for help.


To All former Hamilton Hornets:

You are receiving this message because you are associated with the Hamilton Hornets, as a former player, maybe many years ago, maybe for only one season. It matters not.

On Saturday September 9th, 2006 in a post-season friendly against Niagara Wasps, one of our younger up-and-coming players was crunched in a tackle as he stooped to pick up the ball. It broke two vertebrae T11 and T12 and crushed his spinal cord. He was airlifted by helicopter to the General hospital, and operated on three days yesterday to fuse the vertebrae and add some bracing.He will be confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his life.

His name is Sean Corner, age 21. I coached him at junior rugby and for three years at Hill Park high school, where he was the captain, star and leader, on and off the field. He went on to play at Mohawk College and won athletic and academic awards there. He then became starting scrumhalf for the Hornets' 1st XV, and sometimes played inside centre. He was an exciting player with a great future in the sport. He had started a full time job in the insurance business earlier this year. Life was good.

All that has changed. However he is a courageous young man and has astounded us with his positive attitude in the past few days. Unfortunately, the CRU's catastrophe insurance was cancelled one day before Sean's injury. That's another story.

The Hornets are busy working on various fundraising strategies as the Corner family will be incurring considerable expenses over the next few years. Sean will be in Chedoke Hospital for 3-6 months receiving therapy. Then he will return home but the Corners will likely have to change homes as their current house is nice but quite compact, and may not accommodate a wheelchair person.

You can imagine that there will be many other expenses not covered by the normal medical insurance. Later, we hope Sean will be able to drive a modified car or van, but that too will cost. We expect to post news of his progress on our website ( as soon as cleared with Sean and family.

We all know any sport carries a risk. Rugby is no exception and some of you no doubt suffered an injury. Perhaps a torn ACL, or dislocated shoulder. I've had both but was still able to continue playing. Most of us have had the great fortune of playing and enjoying rugby for many years. Now is the time for us to give something back to a fellow player in need of assistance.

I now appeal to you to make a donation. Send cheque, bank draft or money order to:

Sean Corner Benefit Fund
c/o Hamilton Hornets RFC
P.O. Box 4397, Station D
Hamilton, ON L8V 4L8

Please pass this on to other Hornets. If you are currently associated with a rugby club, see if they will run a fundraising event, however small.

Finally, remember Sean in your prayers. Think of him. Wish him the strength to get over this tragedy.


John O'Gorman
Hamilton Hornets RFC

Source: Rugby Canada

  • Related: Rugby Canada release

    Notification of a loss of insurance coverage.

    Effective immediately the Catastrophe Insurance in the amount of $500,000 per person which Rugby Canada has for the last two years had in place for all rugby participants in Canada is cancelled.

    The Accident and Liability Insurance coverage which Rugby Canada has in place for all members will continue in place.

    Full details here.

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