A TYTHERINGTON farmer has become world elver eating champion after entering ‘for a bit of fun’.

Richard Cornock took home first prize following the baby eel eating competition in Frampton-on-Severn on May 5.

Elvers are now a protected species so organisers Frampton Fundraisers now use a man-made type of sustainable elver, re-named ‘el-vers’.

The ‘el-vers’ are made in Spain from fish formed into ‘eel-like’ shapes and cooked in oil and garlic.

Competitors are asked to eat a plateful in the quickest time. Richard’s time of one minute nine seconds was enough to edge out last year’s world champion by a single second.

Dairy farmer Richard said: “I only really went along for a bit of fun. I just turned up for a bit of a laugh.

“I am really chuffed to have won. I was amazed.

“It was all really good humoured. I love it because it’s so unique to Gloucestershire.

“A lot of other places do eating challenges but elder eating is specific to Frampton.

“We’ve got to keep these traditions alive.”

Once regarded as a cheap and favourite with the locals, elver eels put Frampton on the map with the village named as the home of elver fishing.

However, following a huge decline in their numbers since the 1970s, the annual elver eating competition had to be cancelled.

It returned in 2015 after an absence of more than four decades.

Despite his success Richard is undecided if he will return to defend his title next year.

“Maybe it’s better to do it as a one off,” he said.

You can watch a video of the event on Richard’s Youtube channel The Funky Farmer. The women’s competition was won by Jess O’Gorman, who runs Frampton pub The Three Horseshoes.

Jess has won the women’s category for the last four years, following in the footsteps of her dad who won it in 1974.

The event also featured a children’s spaghetti eating contest as well as a tug of war, live music and other entertainment.