Bare arse nekid

On one of the few sunny days during my recent visit to the UK I was sitting in the back garden of my son Jim’s house sinking a few beers while his brother Tom looked after the barbie, reminiscing over past scrapes we’d got into while under the influence. Jim reminded me of the time he streaked at a Lancashire v Derby cricket match, when he accepted a bet from some of his friends.

Most streaks happen at sporting events and a quick dash from the sidelines to the centre of a cricket pitch or tennis court suddenly seems a lot further naked than when fully clothed, but Jim didn’t quite get his balls over the bails when he realised that security men were hot-footing it in his direction. “I realised I wouldn’t actually get to the centre of the field so I just started doing cartwheels and spinning around,” He couldn’t be accused of being totally naked because he still had his socks on!

It was students from the University of South Carolina who allegedly did the first streak in February, 1974, but the British took the idea to their naked hearts. Of course, the Brits would say that they started the craze when Lady Godiva sauntered through the streets of Coventry on horseback wearing nothing but her hair, but whoever lays claim to starting the craze, there’s always someone willing to strip to the buff and do a run, all for a bit of a laugh.

The first recorded streaker in the UK was in April, 1974 when a man, naked except for white sandshoes a cornflakes box over his head with a couple of holes cut for him to see, ran along a Yorkshire railway line, before running around Angela Eddon’s house and knocking on her door.  “He was carrying a white bag and said he had not had love for two years, so I told him to clear off and get some,” said Mrs. Eddon. “I asked him to get dressed and leave but he said he wouldn’t until I sang I’m Sitting On Top of the World with him.  So I did…  He climbed on a van roof, I stood on the ground – and we sang.”

The King of the Streakers, though, is Liverpudlian Mark Roberts who, with almost 300 streaks ‘under his belt’ holds firmly onto his place in the Guinness Book of Records. Serial streaker Roberts has streaked at everything from Wimbledon’s Mens Final, Royal Ascot, and Mr Universe to the Liberal Democrat Convention and the National Lottery. Wearing a specially prepared velcro-seamed outfit similar to that used by strippers his clothes come off in a split second and he’s off and running. 

“Why do I streak? It’s a buzz. If I didn’t get the crowd reaction every time I go on a pitch or jump out of an audience, if you don’t get the buzz, there’s no point, because the point of a streak is humour – to make people laugh.  And in the 7 years I’ve been doing it, it’s the same reaction every time.”

But at least Jim won’t be trying to compete with Mark Roberts’ record. “I just remember a wall of sound, laughter, wolf whistles and screaming, and looking up at the sky as I spun round. It was fantastic – but I won’t do it again!”

If you would like to know more about Spain, visit my web site, www.derekworkman-journalist.com , and Spain Uncovered.

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