Manchester

World Pie Eating Championships: Humble pie for Wigan chef after pie mix-up

Former champion Barry Rigby Image copyright PA
Image caption Former World Pie Eating Champion Barry Rigby's time was declared void

The World Pie Eating Championships were thrown into turmoil when it emerged that a work experience chef sent the wrong pies to the event.

Organisers said the snacks - double the correct size for the contest - should have gone to a divorce party but were sent to Harry's Bar in Wigan in error.

Ex-champion Barry Rigby, 37, of Wigan, a fitness instructor, set the best time of 42.6 seconds for eating half a pie.

But umpires declared the results null and void because of safety concerns.

They said eating the 24cm (10in) pies could result in a dangerous "swallow stall".

Tony Callaghan, owner of Harry's Bar, said: "The work experience lad was tasked with providing 24 competition pies but mixed up the order and sent them to a divorce party up the road.

"By the time we realised, it was too late."

Mr Callaghan said: "We had to go ahead.

Image copyright PA
Image caption The owner of Harry's Bar Tony Callaghan said the competitors practise pie eating long and often

"It was a bit like Andy Murray replacing Roger Federer for a show game at the tennis finals in the O2, but everyone took it in their stride and demonstrated the professionalism of pie eating at this level.

"It was a shame because these lads practise long and often: you can see how seriously they take it, practising pie-eating late into the night on every street corner in Wigan town centre."

The cooked dimensions of the official competition pie should be a diameter of 12cm (5in) and a depth of 3.5cm (1.5in).

The competition regulations also state the content of the meat and potato mix have to be 1cm (0.4in) and they must have 66% meat content not including pastry.

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