Family wins World Thumb Wrestling Championships

Paul Browse against final opponent Jez Bellis
Image caption Paul Browse (left) pinned down the World Thumb Wrestling Championship title for the fourth time – competing against Jez Bellis in the final

Two members of the same family have taken home championship titles in an annual thumb wrestling event.

The men’s title was pinned down for the fourth year by Paul Browse, while his mother-in-law Janet Coleman won the women’s competition.

She took the title from her daughter – Mr Browse’s wife, Becky – who could not attend.

The 11th World Thumb Wrestling Championships saw 24 adults and eight children clash to fight it out.

Image caption Paul and his mother-in-law Janet Coleman clinched both the men’s and women’s titles

The thumb-to-thumb combat at the Locks Inn pub in Geldeston is played in rounds on a wooden board resembling a wrestling ring.

After her victory, Mrs Coleman, 61, from Lowestoft, quipped it was “in the genes”.

“It’s just a bit of fun – I got roped in. I’m sure if my daughter was here I wouldn’t have stood a chance.”

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Image caption People gathered around to watch the men’s final, which concluded the afternoon of thumb-to-thumb combat
Image caption Organiser Rory Van Bellis (right) said thumb wrestling brings back childhood memories for people

Mr Browse, who competes with the name Under the Thumb, said it felt “amazing” to retain his title.

“It’s very tongue-in-cheek. No-one has ever won three times and I’ve now done it four times.”

The 38-year-old, from Carlton Colville, near Lowestoft, credited his job as a deep sea diver as being responsible for his success.

“In diving you’re always having to hold on to things and you get a good grip.”

The winners each won £350 and were presented with trophies.

Organiser Rory Van Bellis, 36, said he set up the “quirky” contest to put the area on the map.

“It’s a very British thing, held in a quintessential pub garden,” he said.



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