Rugby Sevens World Cup - Hong Kong 1993
Whilst working at a bar called Yelts Inn (sounds Russian to me), I was enjoying a drink with a few friends when the conversation got onto a girl who had streaked at the Rugby 7's that day. Being under the influence of half a brewery, I stated that "anyone can do a streak"! Suddenly the owner turned to me and said "OK, you do a streak tomorrow"! I agreed, through blurred vision, and before I knew it, the whole pub got to hear about it. People kept coming up to me asking me if I really was going to streak the next day? Without realising what I was saying, I told them I was.
I got home in the early hours of the morning, the last thing going through my mind before I fell into unconsciousness was 'What have I said?' I'd never streaked before and had no intention of doing it the next day!
I was woken around midday by people banging on the apartment door. It was my mates come to take me to the 7's. When I shouted to them that I wasn't going (I couldn't even open my eyes, never mind run), they threatened to kick the door in. As I was no good at D.I.Y., I decided to open the door and was immediately grabbed and taken to a waiting taxi. I still had my clothes on from the previous night as I was too drunk to get undressed when I got in.
When we arrived at the Hong Kong Stadium, it was like being at Wembley and I didn't think that my underpants would hold with the pressure they were under. There were 60,000 screaming people there and especially in the condition I was in, thought that there was no way that I was going to show them my Chicken McNugget. I told my mates this, but was reminded that I had told the whole pub the night before that I would. I was handed two pints of Carlsberg and told to down them. Believe me, at that moment in time I needed them!
As I was drinking, I looked around and saw a man swinging a live chicken around his head. I slowly began to realise that this was like a carnival, not a rugby tournament. The drink started to take effect and the atmosphere became electric. I couldn't help but get drawn into it, helped along by the Carlsberg. My fear began to subside and was replaced by adrenalin at the thought of what I was about to do. I want to do it NOW! The sooner the better! So I made my way down the steps to the front row of seats. I don't usually believe in coincidence but, out of all the seats that I could have sat in, I happened to sit next to a guy who told me that he was the first ever streaker at the Epsom Derby horse race. After telling me what the buzz was like, my adrenalin started pumping even harder. This was meant to happen! Now I believe in fate and I wanted to do it NOW!
Mark on his first ever streak.
At the time, the New Zealand All Blacks were playing against the South African Springboks and were just about to kick off for the second half. My clothes were off in seconds and I jumped on. Still caught up in the adrenalin rush, I was on! I ran onto the pitch and went to wave to my mates, as if to say 'I've done it!' but caught site of the ball and decided that I wanted it! I took off like a bat out of hell, thinking that the faster I ran, the less chance I had of being tackled by a 17 stone brick wall!
Come on boys !!!
I grabbed the ball and as I ran, I couldn't believe what I was hearing! The further I got, the louder the stadium became. When I got between the goal posts, I put the ball down and scored a 'try', then turned around.
A try !!!
I have never experienced a feeling like the one I got at that moment. The whole stadium rose as one with their hands in the air and started cheering and clapping. It was like scoring the winning goal in a cup final, but better! It was unbelievable! I figured if I scored the try, I may as well try to convert it also before I finish !
... and the conversion !
I actually felt the force of everyone cheering at once. It was like a wave of heat hitting me. Even the players and referees were laughing. I put my hand in the air and set off to do another length of the pitch on my way back to my seat, feeling like the King of England.
When I got back, I was surrounded by photographers taking my picture, so I started doing daft poses for them. I was so caught up in the moment that I didn't even attempt to put my clothes back on, until I saw a policeman slowly walking towards me. I have to admit that he did give me a chance to get away, but I was loving every second of this and wasn't going anywhere! When he finally reached me, I couldn't stop laughing and fell over as I was trying to put my shorts on! The rest of my clothes had gone missing, but I didn't give a damn!
I was told by the policeman that I was going to be ejected from the stadium and, as he walked me to one of the tunnels leading outside, the whole stadium started to chant "LEAVE HIM ALONE, LEAVE HIM ALONE"! It is impossible to describe the feelings that were going through me during all of this. I have never known anything like it!
As we walked down the tunnel, somebody threw me a t-shirt and a voice from above shouted 'STREAKER!' As I looked up, I saw a guy holding two jugs of Carlsberg who then proceeded to pour them over myself and the copper. It was brilliant! Even the copper couldn't help but laugh. He then walked me to the gate and told me that if he saw me back inside, he would have to arrest me. As soon as I left one gate, I walked back in through another. Nothing was going to spoil this day, I was going back to the 'carnival'!
As I was walking back to the front row, I could hear people in the crowd saying "the streaker is back in", so not wanting to be noticed by the police, I put the t-shirt over my head and made my way to my friends. Once I reached them, the party commenced and I found myself being called from group to group. People kept shaking my hand and poured beer over my head, girls were kissing me, it could not have been better! The buzz was so intense that I wanted to streak again, and decided that I would do, during the final later on.
I told everyone this, including Sarah, a girl I knew, who asked me if she could sit on my shoulders with her top off, when I did it? After explaining that we wouldn't get very far if we did that, we agreed that we would just run together instead. While waiting for the final, I soaked up the atmosphere and was approached by a journalist who had heard that I was going to do it again. He said that his paper would pay me £15,000 if I climbed to the top of one of the goal posts, naked. I was assured by the people who knew him that he would pay, but I told him that I wanted written confirmation from the his company, then I would do it.
He agreed, telling me to wait until he got back from the press box until I did the streak. As time went on, the final got under way and there was no sign of the reporter. Thinking that he wasn't coming back, I didn't want to miss my chance of getting on before the game finished, so made my way towards the pitch with Sarah. When we got to the front, I took my shorts off and Sarah took her top off and on we went. As soon as we started running, we got separated and when I turned around to see where she was, I saw her on the floor with three stewards on top of her. I shouted to them that they were out of order, and they told me that Sarah was O.K. Sarah confirmed this by laughing her head off. As I stood there, I could hear the crowd scream even louder and when I turned around again, saw three stewards running at me as if their lives depended on it. TIME TO GO!
Double Trouble! Twos Company, Theres a crowd!
As I was running back towards my seat, I could hear the steward behind me shouting that I had no father and that he wanted to make love to me, or words to that effect! I didn't like the thought of this, so sprouted wings and fled. Once I got back to my seat, I again received a rapturous applause, as Sarah was marched off and arrested. The same policeman that threw me out the first time, came running towards me, this time with a Sergeant. As I was in a 'I don't give a monkeys' mood, I stood there and waited for them to arrest me. When they marched me off, they were booed by the crowd, and I showed my appreciation by waving back. We got through the tunnel and I was sat on some steps and told that I was under arrest. The sergeant then got on his radio, and what I heard next rounded my day off in the best possible way. "We've got him again" he said. "What do you mean again?" came the reply. "The fella that streaked the first time, has just done it again!" he answered back. Here comes the best bit.......... "You're joking! No one's ever done it twice, let the lad go"!
I couldn't believe it! Does my day get any better? The sergeant then said to me "This is you're lucky day. Off you go!" and escorted me to the exit.
When I got outside, a reporter was waiting for me and told me that nobody had ever streaked twice on the same day at a major sporting event, and that it would get a place in the Guinness Book of Records. What's going on? This is becoming a dream!
He took my number and said that he would get back to me. He later did, and told me that the Book had agreed that no one had ever done it twice on the same day before but "We're not interested in that kind of feat!" (The Book later got back to me, but that's another story!
When I finally got back to the Yelts Inn, I walked through the door and was met with a huge cheer from the packed pub. This really was the best day of my life! The owner of the bar came over to me shaking his head saying that he couldn't believe that I had done it. Neither could I, but was so glad that I did! This was to be the start of a beautiful career!
I later found out that the journalist who had offered me £15,000, had come back while I was on the pitch. Even worse was that he paid £1,500 cash, to someone to climb the posts after the final whistle, fully clothed!
I would like to thank Carlsberg for helping me start off my career and becoming 'probably the best streaker in the world'.