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The Campaign For Real Conkers has called on the Education Secretary "to ensure that, with the 2004 conker season about to start, conkers in school playgrounds can proceed unmolested by heads claiming that the traditional sport is 'dangerous'". To publicise his call for conkering to be included in the curriculum, CFRC mastermind Keith Flett (also head of unrelated campaigning body, the Beard Liberation Front) is planning a "conker-in, all against all" at Ducketts Common, Turnpike Lane, north London on October 10.

"Conker playing is facing a very serious crisis, with many conkers left uncollected on the ground," Flett says. "I would see Charles Clarke as a conker player in his youth. Probably quite a formidable one. Probably baked his conkers and put bits of metal in them."

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