PICTURE GALLERY - Pub wrestle back coveted Hood

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PUB regulars are celebrating after winning the coveted Haxey Hood for the first time since 2003.

Drinkers loyal to the Haxey hostelry managed to wrestle the sacred leather back to The Duke following a titanic struggle, much to the delight of landlord Paul Chapman.

“It was an eventful day from start to finish,” he added.

“I was busy in the pub but at 6.30pm I was told to get to the front door. It was quite daunting because they picked me up, all 18 stone of me, and pushed me horizontally through the door.

“But it was all worth it and there was quite an adrenaline rush. I’ve been here eight years and it’s the first time we’ve won it.

“I would like to thank all the lads and the Boggins for getting the Hood to our pub.”

Crowds from around the world turned out in force to watch this year’s event and after the traditional ‘smoking’ of Fool Dale Smith, during his speech outside St Nicholas Church, it was off to the field separating Haxey from Westwoodisde.

Twelve sack hoods were individually released, allowing youngsters to join in the fun and claim £2 rewards, and then it was time for the actual Hood to be unleashed.

Overseeing the ‘sway’ for a record-equalling 23rd time was Lord of the Hood was Phil Coggon.

He said: “I have been involved with this since I was a child. First I was a Boggin and then I later became the Lord. The Hood brings everybody together and that’s what people like.

“They enjoy the singing in the bars and there’s a lot of local pride.

Also present at last Friday’s event was former Belton man Brett Carroll. The 24-year-old has lived in Sydney, Australia, for the last 18 months.

He said: “I came back especially for new year and the Hood.

“It’s a big occasion and it’s nice to be back.”

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