Pock event set to be a Knockout

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A Barmby Moor woman will be reminiscing about her time on the big screen when an event inspired by hit BBC show It’s a Knockout comes to Pocklington this weekend.

Val French, 59, was part of a winning team on It’s a Knockout in 1980 and admitted seeing the Pocklington event – It’s a Pockout – advertised brought back many happy memories.

The former PE teacher was living on a farm in Everingham with her family aged 23 when she applied to go on the show, which was last aired in 2001.

She said: “I was very much a local girl living at home on the farm, was secretary of Pocklington Young Farmers Club and a founder member and captain of Pocklington Ladies Hockey Club and loved anything a bit mad. When I saw an advert in the then Pocklington Times to attend a trial for It’s a Knockout, I jumped at the chance and was ecstatic to get into the local team ‘Bridlington & North Wolds.”

The army in Driffield trained Val and her team ahead of the event at Castle Howard where she triumphed, ahead of Ryedale and beating Scarborough by one point in the last game.

She said: “It was such a good laugh from start to finish. I took part in mostly water games and Stuart Hall made plenty of comments on the TV show as my nickname is ‘Splash’ which was fitting as I fell over in one of the water games!”

It’s a Pockout is taking place on bank holiday Monday (August 29) with Keith Chegwin hosting a range of bizarre It’s a Knockout themed events at Pocklington Rugby Club.

Despite her success 36 years ago, Val is just happy being a spectator for It’s a Pockout.

“I daren’t enter a team after having two new knees and a new shoulder,” she said. “I think it is a great idea to do an event such as this and I hope the day is a huge success for such worthy causes. To get Keith Chegwin also to come down and do the event is great. It was such a popular show back in the day.

“I will enjoy cheering the contestants on and wishing I was 23 again.”

It’s a Pockout is the Pocklington Lions’ biggest event of the year and they, along with town crier Geoff Sheasby, are encouraging the town to get behind it.

President Richard Knill said: “This is going to be the club’s biggest fundraiser too - the proceeds from team entries and sponsorship will go to our nominated charities including Yorkshire Air Ambulance, Macmillan Cancer Support, MS Society, Mencap and Heart Research Uk.

“This is going to be the biggest fundraising event that the Lions Club has undertaken and it’s going to be a great family fun day.

“There will be all the crazy action of the It’s A Knockout’...or should I say ‘Pockout’ games were competitors make their way through the challenges and get very wet!”

The fun is set to start at 11am in the town centre with a parade, led by the York Pipe Band, which will see competitors will work their way towards the sports arena.

The games will follow from noon with attendees encouraged to come in fun fancy dress and enjoy the trade stands, bouncy castle and food and drink options, while watching the participants fight through the assault course.

For more details about sponsorship or information about entering a team in It’s a Pockout email info@itsapockout.org.uk or contact 0845 833 8539.