Man loses wallet in Reading and becomes drinking game star

Image source, Giles
Image caption, Giles said the friends had played the Tim Burrows Challenge every year since 2003

A man who lost his wallet 14 years ago has discovered it led to an annual drinking contest in his honour.

The Tim Burrows Challenge became a tradition among a group of more than 10 friends who found the wallet at the Reading Festival in 2003 and "borrowed a tenner" to buy some cider.

Mr Burrows shared the story on Twitter after the group traced him by messaging hundreds of Tim Burrowses on Facebook.

The wallet was handed into lost property after the cider purchase.

Mr Burrows said on Twitter: "Been contacted by a man who found my wallet at Reading 2003, took £10 out to buy cider and held an annual drinking competition in my honour."

His post had been liked more than 52,000 times by Friday morning and retweeted by more than 17,000 people.

Image source, Twitter/@timburrows
Image caption, Mr Burrows shared the story on Twitter after the wallet's finder came forward

The discovery would have been swifter had the group's original message not languished in his "other" folder because they were not friends on Facebook.

Mr Burrows, now a journalist for The Guardian in London, said he was "touched" his name was used for the contest.

Giles, a founder of the drinking game, told the BBC he had been trying to trace Mr Burrows for the past six months and offered to return the money.

The 32-year-old, who asked for his surname not to be used, told Mr Burrows: "Sorry to inform you so many years later, would happily restore karma by offering to pay the £10 back to its rightful owner.

"I fear now the number of Timothy Burrows I have messaged in my attempt to do this."

He said that his then teenage friends who found the wallet used the £10 to buy "litres of cider".

They had since played a game involving cider named after Mr Burrows, he added.

Image source, Giles
Image caption, A group of teenagers found Mr Burrows's wallet at the Reading Festival in 2003 and "borrowed a tenner" to buy some cider

"It's the best £10 he never knew he spent," Giles said.

He added he was pleased Mr Burrows had taken news of the story in good humour.

Mr Burrows said it was a "nice feeling" to discover that he had been toasted, unbeknown to him, for years.

"It's a nice feeling. I'm not completely distant from that kind of behaviour myself. It feels like I have added memories somehow - of haunting these debauched occasions.

"I don't begrudge that they spent the £10 - I think that's what anyone would do. At Reading you're in your teens and you're unable to budget properly.

"In a sense, anything you find there is like a scavenger's haul.

"But I would definitely take up Giles on the offer of a drink one day".