IT takes a special kind of person with a keen eye, a steady hand and nerves of steel to be crowned the world champion black pudding thrower.

But that is just what a sunny Ramsbottom got when the fantastic fun, family tradition returned on Sunday.

The annual battle between Lancashire and Yorkshire icons was this year won by a man from neither, as Tom Lowden, a 25-year-old management consultant from Scunthorpe, Lincolnshire, took the crown.

The champion lobber was attending the event for the first time with his friends who had dressed as "country gents" complete with Tweed and flat caps.

He said: "It feels great. I came with absolutely no expectations other than having a good time with a few friends.

"It was a brilliant laugh, and I never expected to come back world champion.

"But now that I am I will definitely be coming back next year to defend my title." 

An annual contest dating back to the 1980s, the championship sees competitors step up to the golden grid to take their aim at a dozen Yorkshire puddings, resting atop a plinth elevated at 20ft high.

The custom is believed to derive from the Wars of the Roses when both sides ran out of ammunition and resorted to throwing food at each other. Black pudding was thrown by the Lancashire troops, while Yorkshire puddings were thrown by their opponents.