Cumbria

Gurning world champion wins again at Egremont Crab Fair

Tommy Mattinson
Image caption Tommy Mattinson, when he won the world gurning title in 2011 for the 13th time

The World Gurning Championships in Cumbria has been won by the same man for the 14th time.

The competition is part of the Egremont Crab Fair and attracts about 50 contestants in the men's, women's and junior sections.

The gurning hopefuls put their head through a horse collar and pull their ugliest face possible.

Winner Tommy Mattinson said: "I'm pleased to have won again. My neck's sore, but other than that I'm OK."

"It's a very serious competition, honest," said organising committee chairman Steve Foster.

"It's really the degree to which your face changes.

"If you're ugly to start with and just get a little bit uglier it's not as good as if you're beautiful to start with and make yourself really ugly.

"It was a fair turn out, particularly for the women's competition which only had one local participant but two from Australia.

"It was won by Helen Irving, from Newcastle, she was a first timer. It's great to see new participants, and we're now looking forward to next year's event."

False teeth manipulation

Mr Mattinson also holds the Guinness World Record for gurning.

His father was world champion 10 times but has never defeated his son.

The competition has rules, including a ban on make-up, though manipulation of false-teeth is allowed for those who have them.

The gurning contest is only one part of a series of traditional sports held as part of the Crab Fair, including horse and pony leaping and pipe smoking competitions.

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