A local hero made mincemeat of his competition as he took home the World Pie-Eating crown for the third time.
Warehouse assistant Barry Rigby, 49, polished off his meat and potato pie in a jaw-dropping 35.4 seconds, beating 16 of his fellow competitive eaters.
And to make the taste all the sweeter, he was victorious on his own turf: the prestigious contest takes place at Harry’s Bar in Barry’s hometown of Wigan, Greater Manchester.
The World Pie-Eating Championships bring together competitors from far and wide for a shot at winning the ‘Bradley Piggins’ trophy.
This year’s event was the first to be held since 2019, with the 2020 and 2021 tournaments cancelled due to Covid. The 2022 one, which was due to take place last month, was also delayed because of bad weather.
Barry’s trophy-winning time matched the one set by reigning champ Ian Gerrard when he took the title home the last time it was up for grabs.
Ian, described by event organiser Tony Callaghan as a ‘monster of the sport’, was among the pastry-munchers at Harry’s yesterday, along with five-time victor Martin Appleton-Clare.
Barry, who previously won in 2009 and 2014, said: ‘I’m a three-time world champion now.’
Barry was positioned directly beside ‘piemaster’ Tony Callaghan for his effort (Picture: SWNS)
A victorious Barry thrusts his hand in the air and demonstrates to Tony that he is the first to ‘have an empty gob’, as the competition rules dictate (Picture: Cavendish/Ricky Champa)
The entrants to the competition risked indigestion by sitting down to a free lunch afterwards (Picture: Cavendish/Ricky Champa)
He added: ‘The trick is to take small bites and get small chunks in your mouth and swallow them as quick as you can.’
He was pictured holding the trophy, which depicts a cyclist with wings and has the years 2020 and 2021 scratched out, while wearing his chosen competition attire of a black Regatta fleece.
Tony said: ‘It was a high quality chunder – that’s the collective noun we use for elite pie eaters – who barely left a crumb for the cleaners and demonstrated their true potential by hanging round for a free lunch afterwards.
‘Although in the contest, some did show that time away from the table during the pandemic does take its toll, with a few competitors fighting “swallow stall” throughout.’
Competitors wore a variety of outfits to maximise their pie-eating prowess (Picture: SWNS)
But he added: ‘Our efforts to follow a policy of sustainability have tripped up after the work experience lad was given instructions to find a recycled trophy but came back with a cycling club cup.’
The World Pie-Eating Championships were first held at Harry’s in 1992.
Wigan has a claim to being the spiritual home of the pastry dish, as locals are nicknamed ‘pie-eaters’ – supposedly after miners from the area had to ‘eat humble pie’ going back to work after the 1926 general …read more