Will Sylvester Stallone hurl a cabbage?

Inventor John Ward and Andrew French with one of the cabbage hurlers. SG150614-199TW
Inventor John Ward and Andrew French with one of the cabbage hurlers. SG150614-199TW
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Movie star Sylvester Stallone is on a list of big-shot celebrities invited to take part in the World Cabbage Hurling Championships at Holbeach next month.

Inventor John Ward – who created two gigantic, catapult-like machines for the competition – is sending out invites to celebs in the hope of tempting famous people to try their hand at the sport.

... if he (Sylvester Stallone) can be running round delivering bread for Warburtons as his recent adverts imply, he could include us on his run and have a bit of cabbage, sorry coleslaw, on his bread ...

John Ward

John’s list includes former Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson “as he has time on his hands”, Radio 2 DJ Chris Evans, Ant and Dec and Joan Collins.

John explained: “With now the third annual cabbage hurling and onion wanging events taking place on Sunday, June 21, at the Holbeach Town and Country Fayre, it was felt that it might be in order to invite assorted big shots to take part and so I slung a few invites basically tongue-in-cheek in the direction of assorted folk.”

His invitation to BBC Look North anchorman Peter Levy resulted in a live, on-air chat with weatherman Paul Hudson.

John said on Tuesday: “I only found out when the phone started ringing for the best part of last night and the emails clogging up my system this morning.

“The postman came a while ago and even he saw Peter Levy last night discussing it, so who knows what to expect next?”

It seems Peter won’t be attending, but John isn’t ruling out landing a big name.

He said: “It will be interesting to see what the following days and weeks offer up as I also sent an invitation, among others, to Sylvester Stallone – I figured that if he can be running round delivering bread for Warburtons as his recent adverts imply, he could include us on his run and have a bit of cabbage, sorry coleslaw, on his bread as dafter things have been known.”

John is staggering the invites – to avoid the risk of a celebrity stampede – and others in the line of friendly fire include Richard Madeley, Radio 2’s Steve Wright, conductor Andre Previn, Anne Robinson and Mayor of London and MP Boris Johnson.

The aim of cabbage hurling is to catapult cabbages into tractor tyres laid out in a field.

The sport needs teams of three – one to load, the second to aim and the third to fire.

The 11ft high hurling machines are based on trebuchets, weapons used to fling projectiles in the Middle Ages, and John built the ones used in the championships from odd bits and pieces that might otherwise have gone into a skip. Cabbages are donated by a farmer and end up as cattle feed.