'very messy' | 

Atmosphere ‘absolutely bouncing’ as World Gravy Wrestling Championships return

‘Basically, people come in fancy dress - men and ladies - and then they wrestle in gravy and get eliminated as the day goes on’

Competitors take part in the World Gravy Wrestling Championships at the Rose 'N' Bowl, in Rossendale, Lancashire. Contestants wrestle in the gravy for 2 minutes with points scored for fancy dress, comedy effect and wrestling ability, raising money for East Lancashire Hospice. Picture date: Monday August 29, 2022.© PA

Competitors take part in the World Gravy Wrestling Championships at the Rose 'N' Bowl, in Rossendale, Lancashire. Contestants wrestle in the gravy for 2 minutes with points scored for fancy dress, comedy effect and wrestling ability, raising money for East Lancashire Hospice. Picture date: Monday August 29, 2022.© PA

Competitors take part in the World Gravy Wrestling Championships at the Rose 'N' Bowl, in Rossendale, Lancashire. Contestants wrestle in the gravy for 2 minutes with points scored for fancy dress, comedy effect and wrestling ability, raising money for East Lancashire Hospice. Picture date: Monday August 29, 2022.© PA

Edd Dracott, PAThe Press Association

Competitors in Lancashire have swapped roast potatoes for leotards as they took part in the 12th annual World Gravy Wrestling Championships.

Described as "one of the world's craziest culinary competitions", the annual charity event at the Rose 'N' Bowl Pub in Stacksteads, Rossendale, returned on Monday after two years of cancellations due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Competitors take part in the World Gravy Wrestling Championships at the Rose 'N' Bowl, in Rossendale, Lancashire. Contestants wrestle in the gravy for 2 minutes with points scored for fancy dress, comedy effect and wrestling ability, raising money for East Lancashire Hospice. Picture date: Monday August 29, 2022.© PA

Raising funds for East Lancashire Hospice, the event sees competitors grapple in a pool of gravy for two minutes - with points scored for fancy dress, entertainment value and wrestling ability.

"It's amazing to be back and people have come from far and wide ... the atmosphere is absolutely bouncing," Carol Lowe, 50, restaurant manager at the Rose 'N' Bowl, told the PA news agency.

"Basically, people come in fancy dress - men and ladies - and then they wrestle in gravy and get eliminated as the day goes on.

"It's very messy."

Among those competing, Ms Lowe said there were "two half-naked gents in gold shorts rolling around in the gravy", while other eye-catching outfits included a clown, a nun and a security guard.

Competitors take part in the World Gravy Wrestling Championships at the Rose 'N' Bowl, in Rossendale, Lancashire. Contestants wrestle in the gravy for 2 minutes with points scored for fancy dress, comedy effect and wrestling ability, raising money for East Lancashire Hospice. Picture date: Monday August 29, 2022.© PA

Ahead of the main event, a boxing match was held in the ring, which Ms Lowe admitted was "quite smelly".

The gravy used in the event is made at the Real Lancashire Black Pudding factory and wrestlers are hosed down by the local fire brigade after their fights.

Asked if anyone would be putting the gravy on their Sunday roast after the event is finished, Ms Lowe said: "Definitely not, no.

"It's all cleaned up and washed away."

Ms Lowe said the success of the event is down to "so many people" who work to organise it.


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