Portsmouth navy reservist is crowned world champ - at pea-throwing

Graham Butterworth taking part in the World Pea Throwing Championships in Lewes, East Sussex
Graham Butterworth taking part in the World Pea Throwing Championships in Lewes, East Sussex
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ROYAL Navy reservist Graham Butterworth had the ‘pea-fect’ end to a perfect day when he was crowned the new pea-throwing world champion.

The officer cadet based at HMS King Alfred on Whale Island, managed to hurl his frozen garden pea 28.67 metres to seal his victory.

The Pea Throwing World Championships, which began 15 years ago, was held outside a pub in Lewes, in East Sussex, and is the first of many wacky competitions father-of-four Graham aims to tackle.

The 33-year-old, who by day works for Arnold Brickwork in Goldsmith Avenue, Southsea, said: ‘Becoming the world pea-throwing champion is certainly an accolade that I’m going to put on my mantelpiece.’

Graham, who joined the reserves in April last year, was cheered on by his family during the tournament.

He added: ‘We had to use peas provided by the pub – Birdseye garden peas.

‘They were frozen but I was the last to throw so it was very squidgy.’

Keen sportsman and amateur boxer Graham was inspired to take on the tournament by fellow reservist and former navy diver Ginge Fullen.

Graham started to compete in wacky sports last year alongside Ginge and has already joined the Tetbury Wool Sack Races, while Ginge took part in the UK Pooh Sticks contest.

However, there are plenty more bizarre challenges left on the duo’s radar.

‘We’re looking to get stuck into the world gravy wrestling championship,’ Graham said.

‘Then there’s the bog snorkelling and cheese rolling championships and World Conker Championships.’

He added: ‘We love getting involved in all the mad and eccentric British sports.’

Graham said he would not have been able to pursue his dreams if it had not have been for the navy.

He said his time with the reserves had offered him the chance to take part in a whole range of sports.

As well as tackling the more wacky variety, Graham is also part of the navy’s rugby squad and represents HMS Collingwood in the boxing championships.

He urged others to consider joining the reserves.

n The next Royal Naval Reserve Live open day is at HMS Excellent on December 5 from 10am.

People can meet navy staff and watch weapon handling drills.