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Wednesday, 30 July 2014

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Aspatria man wins crab fair world gurning title - for 12th time

Tommy Mattinson made a triumphant return to Egremont Crab Fair – reclaiming his crown as the globe’s greatest gurner.

Tommy Mattinson photo
Tommy Mattinson

He claimed the title of World Gurning Champion for a remarkable 12th time at the weekend after bereavement forced him to pull out of last year’s event.

The Aspatria builder admitted ahead of the competition that this year had been the most difficult of his life following the death of his mother, Jean, at the age of 70.

But, walking on to the stage to Wham’s I’m Your Man, he wowed the crowds and judges in Egremont Market Hall.

By puffing out his cheeks and crossing his eyes, Tommy transformed himself and proved why he’s the best on the planet.

Having earned himself a place in the Guinness Book of Records for winning 11 times, Tommy can now add this year’s triumph to his achievements.

He said: “I’m just really happy to have won. I never think I’ve done enough to win.”

Gordon Blacklock of Whitehaven finished second with a competitor from Coventry coming third.

The ladies’ championships was won by popular Egremont gurner Anne Woods. But she had to be rushed to hospital after pulling her winning face.

Organiser Callum Scott said that Anne went outside to get some fresh air after gurning on the stage and collapsed.

“She was rushed to hospital and kept in overnight. I think it was maybe too much excitement, or the room was too stuffy,” Callum said.

Anne was unable to collect her winning prize, so a member of her family did it on her behalf.

She was released from Whitehaven’s West Cumberland Hospital yesterday.

Meanwhile, Callum Doran was crowned the junior champion.

Thirteen-year-old Daniel Farrell, from Egremont, came top in the horn blowing competition. He beat off stiff competition from 26 others – both young and old – to win the trophy.

Hundreds of people in the Market Hall bowed their heads for a minute’s silence to remember the people who lost their lives through the tragedies in west Cumbria over the past few months – the shootings, Keswick school bus tragedy and November’s floods.

Compere Daniel Shutt said to the crowds: “Over the past few months, Egremont and the surrounding areas have had three terrible tragedies and there has been a loss of lives.

“We want this Crab Fair to be about the community pulling together and we want to make this the best show ever.”

Organisers thanked everyone for getting involved and taking part in the day’s activities. Visitors and residents alike took part in a variety of fun activities earlier on Saturday.

The apple cart parade was watched by hundreds as Crab Fair Queen Megan Lee McGregor threw apples into the crowd. Events then took place on the field, including hound and owl shows and wrestling.

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