It’s a Gay Knockout kick starts Manchester Pride festivities early in Canal Street

By Ben Moran

Manchester Pride got (unofficially) kick started early last night with the fabulously outrageous ‘It’s a Gay Knockout’ hosted outside Taurus bar on Canal Street.

The regular event has become a pre-festival favourite in its nine years and it certainly drew in the crowds yesterday, with hundreds of people turning up to watch the now infamous antics.

The event was hosted by Taurus co-owner Mike Pollard, better known as Polly, who in typically controversial fashion is rumoured to be dressing up as Amy Winehouse on Saturday.

POPULAR: Hundreds turned out to watch or take part in the games

Eight teams competed in various games, including the high heel egg and spoon race (which resulted in a fair few broken eggs, and one eager contestant who didn’t spot the finish line so just kept running!) and the crowd’s favourite – the ‘tranny tug of war’.

The Spartans Rugby Club soldiered through to win the event overall, but it was a close fought battle with Albert Kennedy Trust and the Salford Ladies United Temperance Society (the S.L.U.T.S.) close behind.

Nick Coulthurst, part of the team, believes the event is getting more and more popular each year.

He said: “We see it as a prelude to Pride. It’s a lot of fun, there’s plenty of silliness, with some competition thrown in for good measure too. It’s like X Factor – but interesting!”

The notorious ‘chuck your sausage in my ring’ made a return appearance (it involves throwing a raw sausage into a hoop for those unsure!).

ON THE MIC: Host Polly introduces the events. First up: high heel egg and spoon

Host Polly said: “Last year we had a hit rate of 50% of sausages going into my ring so I’ve my ring is smaller this year!”

It didn’t stop a few teams getting lucky though!

Polly said: “It’s a fantastic night again – but it always is!”

The event was opened by the Gay Gordons, a Scottish Country and Ceilidh dance group, who gave a gave a cheer-raising performance with kilts and all.

David Taylor, the group’s Chair and dance teacher, said that the event was one they always looked forward to.

“It’s certainly a special one for us as it feels like it is the start of Pride and it was nice to be part of something so popular,” he said.

JUST DANCE: The Gay Gordons shortly after their dancing

The group are to perform two more times during Pride, and hope some of those who see them this weekend may join in their lessons every Monday.

“There’s not a lot of men dancing these days. Our aim is to get men involved, get them dancing and just have fun,” David said.

More related stories:

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Manchester Pride Director to bow out as festival blows out the candles on its 21st birthday

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OOPS: Not everyone managed to finish the high heeled egg and spoon race successfully

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