Oxford University last night blamed Oliver ‘Fatty’ Perkins for their crushing defeat in the annual boatrace, in which they finished some 1 ¾ miles behind Cambridge - their biggest ever loss. It is unclear how the sedentary, mouth-breathing economics student gained a place in the boat, although critics were quick to point to the generous donations his father, the Chief Executive of ‘Massive Pies Limited" recently made to Oxford University Boat Club.
The 20 stone self-professed cake and pie lover seemed to tire early on in the race, putting down his sweat-drenched oar and unwrapping what appeared to be a pork pie from a lunchbox placed under his seat. Having eaten the pie, the gargantuan oarsman used a chubby hand to claw crumbs away from his mouth, before picking up his oar to pull a few more lack-lustre strokes for the world-famous University. The Oxford boat momentarily accelerated, before the unbalancing effect of Perkins’ mass moving up and down the boat began to disrupt the rhythm of his team mates, finally rocking the boat so violently that Perkins lost hold of his oar and fell backwards into the lap of the bow-man, who is still recovering from his injuries.
For the rest of the race Perkins sat almost motionless and shouted occasional words of encouragement to the rest of the crew, although his detractors have pointed out that this was motivated less by a desire to win the race than it was by a need to find and eat more food, having exhausted the provisions he packed before the race.
Mr Perkins was unavailable for comment last night, beating a hasty retreat from the riverbank to a nearby eatery. His father commented: "My lad gave of his all today - he's as fit as a butcher's dog - bulging with muscle. There is no connection between my decision to buy Oxford a new boathouse and his place in the crew. If some of the others in the boat had followed his lead and packed some of my massive pies then they might have had the energy to row a bit faster".
Mr Perkins' older and fatter brother, Sam, is to ride the favourite in the Grand National next weekend. Mr Perkins senior denies any link between this and the funding of a new pie shaped pavilion at Aintree racecourse.