Rugby Sevens World Cup - Hong Kong 1994
After returning home for a short break, I arrived back in Hong Kong the day before the 7's, intent on streaking it again.
When I spoke to friends, I was told that there had been warnings in the press and on TV that any streakers at the 7's this year would be severely dealt with. Oooh!
This had now become my buzz, so was undeterred, even though I still had 10 days left on being bound over, the previous year. Hardly anybody knew I was back, so I kept out of sight, wanting to surprise everyone on the second day of the 7's during the final.
The girl who streaked the previous year (the one that my friends were talking about who prompted me to do my first streak) was a South African called Carmen and had now become a good friend. She had become a pioneer in her home country after getting topless sunbathing legalised for the first time. She came to the 7's with me, along with her sister and boyfriend Phil, who was also a friend. As we were stood at the top of the steps leading down to the pitch, enjoying a Carlsberg and getting into the carnival atmosphere, the reporter, Fiona Holland, who I had given an interview with the year before, approached me and asked me if I was going to do it again this year; reminding me that the police had warned people about streaking. I told her that it didn't bother me and that I was going to do it during the final. She took a brief interview there and then and left, saying that she'd be watching.
After about half an hour, a very well built guy who had been collapsed in a drunken coma on the floor behind us, got up and started arguing with a friend of his. A few minutes later, I heard him say that he was going to streak and pushed his friend out of the way and headed towards the steps.
The final could wait no longer. I had to go now and be the first one at this years 7's, before drunken Duncan messed it up for me. It was half time during one of the matches and the ball was, again, ,in the centre of the pitch. My friends and I made our way, quickly, down to the bottom of the steps. When we got there I could hear people in the crowd shout my name and ''streaker''. Everyone started to realise what was happening and the atmosphere built up as I took off my clothes.
I was on! It was nearly a re-run of the previous year as I ran across the pitch, picked the ball up on the way and scored a try[ only this time, I picked the ball up again and walked to the penalty area. I've never attempted a drop goal in my life, especially without boots on and kicked the ball through the middle of the posts. This surprised me as much as anyone and the stadium erupted again!
The feelings that I had the previous year all started coming back to me and I realised I was home! I started to run back to where I jumped on, when I noticed that I was being chased by, who I thought was a steward so, as I ran, I bent over and pulled my cheeks apart. The crowd screamed even louder at this and when I looked around, noticed that it wasn't a steward but a photographer! He must have got the most amazing shots of his career! When I got back to the front of the boarding, I was again surrounded by photographers and went into automatic pilot with them. As I was gurning, the drunken guy from earlier came running down the steps, naked, and tried to jump over the advertising boards. They were only three feet high but he failed to clear them and tripped over the top, landing on his face next to me. When he got up, he was confronted with all the photographers that were already there taking pictures of me. For some reason, he raised his fists in a threatening manner and was immediately knocked unconscious by a nearby steward. He was then carried off on a stretcher and later arrested. What an amateur!
Time to go !!!
While he was being carried off, I got back over the boarding and was, myself, grabbed by a steward. I tried to explain to him that I would be sent to jail if he got me arrested and would pay for his drinks that night if he let me go. But he was having none of it and called over four Chinese policemen. I asked if I could put my clothes on before they arrested me, which they agreed to. I didn't want to go to jail, so, as I was putting my trainers on, I looked up to see the steward and police face the other way, talking. Seizing my chance, I took off like a dog out the traps and ran through the crowd without looking behind me. I reached the gates, ran through them and carried on running until I thought my heart was going to burst out of my chest.
When I eventually looked behind me, there was no one there. I had got away! What a professional! I jumped into a taxi and made my way to the club where we all drank. Later on that evening, I went up to a policeman that I knew, who had been on duty at the 7's that day and tried to have a laugh with him. He just looked at me and said, "It was a good try and goal Mark, but don't take the piss!'' I took this as meaning that he didn't want to speak to me and understood and appreciated his comment.
I then proceeded to get blind drunk. Later on, the captain of the Hong Kong rugby team came over, congratulated me on scoring and bought me a drink. What a great end to a great day!