Coopers Hill cheese-rolling fans hold unofficial race

Competitors take part in the unofficial cheese rolling event on Coppers Hill A former organiser said lack of first aid at unofficial events was a concern

About 200 people gathered at Coopers Hill in Gloucestershire for an unofficial cheese-rolling contest.

Thrill seekers staged their own event after the official competition was cancelled for the second year in a row.

The event went ahead despite a large police presence at entrances to the hill in Brockworth.

Spectators braved the fog and rain to watch about a dozen competitors pursue a Double Gloucester cheese 200m (656ft) down the 1:2 gradient slope.

The last official event was in 2009. Last year's competition was called off over concerns about safety because of the number of spectators it attracts.

Plans for an official two-day festival this year were abandoned after a public backlash over ticket prices.

Former winner Helen Thorpe said: "No-one's going to stop us doing it.

"They say it's not official but we are all Brockworth people and we're running the cheese today so it is official. We strongly believe in it."

Chris Anderson, 23, from Brockworth holds his prize cheeses after he won all three races Mr Anderson said the race was "in his blood"

Chris Anderson, 23, from Brockworth, won the three adult male races while 14-year-old Jo Guest, from Wolverhampton, came out on top in the women's race.

Mr Anderson, a civilian MoD worker, said that this year's unofficial event passed off without any injuries.

"It's better with the official because you have got ambulance cover, but this is what it is all about, you have got all the locals here," he said.

"It's a Brockworth tradition and it's keeping it going for the people of Brockworth.

"I had to win, it's in my blood."

Former organiser Richard Jeffries last week urged people not to attend any unofficial event.

Mr Jeffries had said the lack of first aid cover would be a "concern" if an unofficial event were to take place.

In the past, St John Ambulance and other volunteers have provided first aid at official events.

More than 100 people are also believed to have attended an unauthorised cheese-rolling event last year.

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