It’s with great pride that I bring you this article.
You see I come from a place in the North of England called Yorkshire. To give you folks overseas something you can relate that to, imagine Winterfell on Game of Thrones.
It’s a land that has given the world Coal, Sean Bean, Kes, Def Leppard, The world’s oldest football club, The electric toothbrush, flat caps.
And the world’s toughest sport in the world “Ferret Legging”.
Ferret Legging is a simple sport, much like the people who take part in it. Competitors tie their trouser legs shut at the ankles and then place a ferret down the said trousers. The winner of the contest is the one who can go the longest with the ferret roaming freely around his nether regions.
Now if you’re thinking “That doesn’t sound so bad, in fact a furry animal scurrying around against the skin may tickle and be quite pleasant!” You’ve obviously never seen a ferret’s teeth and I suggest you go on Youtube and key in “Richard Whiteley Ferret!” You’ll be treated to one of the UK’s most famous bloopers where the TV host yells in pain as Ferret gnaws into his finger while the handler he is interviewing proceeds to not give a fuck.
Now if a ferret would bite into a finger think what it could bite while down a guy’s trousers.
Now my extensive research
looking at the wikipedia page has revealed that the sport’s zenith was in the 70’s and during that time the world record rose from 40 seconds to 90 minutes. However in the 80’s Ferret Legging would belong to one man Reg Mellor a retired miner from my own home town of Barnsley. As well as introducing the concept of competitors wearing white trousers to better show the blood drawn by the Ferret, Mellor set the world record at an amazing 5 hours and 26 minutes.
In 1986 Mellor had his sights set on the six hour mark and In front of a crowd of 2,500 people (this is sadly in the days before PPV) attempted to break this milestone.
Unfortunately the crowd started to realise that watching a man on a stage with a ferret down his trousers is frankly about as entertaining as a George St Pierre fight without stand ups. So with the echoes of little old ladies saying to their husbands “Oh come on Eric I’ve had e’nuff of this, Big Daddy will be in Tag soon”, the crowd began to drift away.
With the event becoming a washout further humiliation came Mr Mellor’s way when organisers began dismantling the stage before the six hour mark could be reached. Reg Mellor retired from the sport and his record was eventually broken in 2010 by Frank Bartlett and Christine Farmsworth who managed 5 hours 30 minutes. This record breaking event took place in Whittington taking the record outside of Yorkshire. Will the record ever return to Yorkshire? Will the hallowed six hour mark be reached? Our county longs for that day when ferret legging pride will be restored, but I’ll be buggered if it’s going to be me.
The Political correctness of 21st century life has not been kind to ferret legging, as animal rights groups have slammed the event as it could cause severe embarrassment to the ferret.
Accusations of sexism have also been rife as while MMA and boxing have welcomed women competitors Ferret Legging has been slow to do the same. This could be a combination of inherent misogyny on the part of the ruling body and the fact that generally women aren’t that fucking stupid to take part.