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Thrills - and spills - as competitors gather in Lancashire for the World Gravy Wrestling Championships

Competitors take part in the World Gravy Wrestling Championships at the Rose n Bowl, Stackteads in Lancashire. Credit: Press Association.

One of the strangest sports in the world will mark a decade of competition in Lancashire today.

The World Gravy Wrestling Championships promises thrills and spills for competitors and is an annual spectacle for hundreds of onlookers in Stackheads, near Rossendale.

Competitors from as far afield Aberdeen and County Durham will travel to the Rose 'n Bowl, Stacksteads, to challenge each other in 2-minute long bouts in the sauce.

Points are awarded from the jury for fancy dress, comedy effect, and entertainment value.

Last year's champions Joel Hicks, aka 'Gandalf the Gravy' from Leicestershire and Lancashire's Nicole Taylor-Lyons return defend their titles as they aim to wrestle to victory at the event which supports charities including East Lancashire Hospice.

"It's a brilliant and slightly mad day but everyone loves it, whether they're watching or taking part.

"We're delighted to be celebrating a decade of gravy wrestling which helps local charities as well as being a super day out for everyone."

– Sara Brown, the World Gravy Wrestling Organisation

Family 'immensely proud' of man who tried to save backpacker

Tom Jackson suffered critical injuries Credit: Facebook

The family of a man from Cheshire injured in a stabbing attack in Australia have said they are "immensely proud" of him after he tried to save another backpacker.

Tom Jackson, 30, received critical injuries when he tried to help Mia Ayliffe-Chung, 21, as she was stabbed to death, allegedly by 29-year-old Frenchman Smail Ayad, police said.

His father Les Jackson, from Congleton, issued a statement also praising the work of medical staff at Townsville Hospital in Queensland, where his son is being treated.

Les Jackson said the many offers of support they had received had not been ignored, but they were simply focusing on their son's condition.

Miss Ayliffe-Chung, from Wirksworth, Derbyshire, was killed at the Shelley's Backpackers accommodation in Home Hill on Tuesday.

Ayad has been charged with one count of murder, two counts of attempted murder, one count of serious animal cruelty and 12 counts of serious assault.

He did not appear in court on Friday but was remanded in custody and his case has been adjourned until October 28.

"There are many and varied reasons why we are, and always will be, immensely proud of Tom.

"His actions in response to this horrific attack only add to that sense of pride.

"As a family we have been comforted by the help and support offered by our friends and family at home and in Australia who have been wonderful."

– Les Jackson

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Airports gearing up for bank holiday getaway

Credit: pa

Liverpool John Lennon Airport says it's expecting its busiest bank holiday weekend in five years. 70,000 passengers are expected to pass through the airport over the next three days. Bosses say they've been inundated with passengers all summer.

Its a similar story at Manchester Airport, where they're also expecting record numbers of passengers.

The top five destinations from Manchester are: Palma, Alicante, Amsterdam, Tenerife and Dublin.

An estimated 392,000 passengers will travel through Manchester Airport this weekend.

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