Hanging up the Haggis

Haggis+HurlerTHE world’s top haggis hurler Alan Pettigrew has announced he is to quit before his 29 year old record is broken.

His world record was set in 1984 when he threw a 1lb 8oz haggis 180ft and 10in on the island of Inchmurrin on Loch Lomond.

But the retired school janitor, from Saltcoats, Ayrshire, fears he may see his long-standing record being beaten.

He said: “People are trying to beat my record all the time, all over the world, but my competitive days are over.”

Alan was at the Bearsden and Milngavie Highland Games in 2011 when Lorne Colthart, 22, appeared to smash the record.

But officials realised that Lorne’s 217ft throw was invalid because the haggis was 4oz less than the regulation weight of 1lb 8oz.

Lorne, from Blair Atholl, Perthshire, is tipped as a likely record-breaker.

Alan said: “An official came over and told me that my world record had been broken. Then he came back and said the haggis wasn’t heavy enough so my record still stands.

“Lorne returned to the same games last year and threw a haggis of the correct weight and it only went something like 160ft.

“But Lorne’s a good athlete who takes part in the heavy sports at Highland games across the country and I think, if he sets his mind to it, he – or someone else – could break my record for real.”

Today, Alan’s record will be in the sights of competitors taking part in the haggis hurling event at the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum in Alloway, Ayrshire.

Event organiser Stuart Cochrane said: “We are hoping that some stout lads and lassies will come along and try to make history as part of our celebrations for Burns’ birthday.”

Haggis hurling is also played at Highland games across the globe.


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