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Guy finds out his lost wallet led to a 14-year-long drinking challenge held in his honour

reading wallet.jpg

Until today, I thought I had a pretty good story about stuff I’ve lost at a music festival. 

I was a fresh-faced 20-or-so-year-old at Benicàssim, enjoying a blistering Arctic Monkeys set on balmy Spanish evening. Somewhere in between trying really hard not to misremember a lyric to ‘Brianstorm’ and having to dodge a falling beer can, I dropped a banged-up Nokia I was using to keep in touch with my girlfriend on the ground. 

In my panic, I pushed backwards to try and form a clearing in the crowd, hoping I’d spot it before it was kicked into oblivion. Unfortunately, everyone around me assumed I was trying to initiate a mosh pit, and within seconds a queue of people were piling in to punch me in the back. Clever guy that I am, I’d decided, pre-mosh, to use my other phone – a shiny iPhone, no less – as a torch to find the trusty Nokia. Extremely terrible idea, that. 

When the over-priced lager-induced carnage finally subsided, I patted the pocked that I’d tried to slip the iPhone into to see if it had survived. That pocket was empty. 

“Two phones, one song.” One week later and a mate I’d travelled to Spain with wasn’t even close to tiring of chuckling that into my ear. Wanker. 

Anyway, yeah, good lost stuff at a festival story right? Lost a phone, accidentally started a mosh pit, lost a second phone. I bet that you...looked like a mug on the dancefloor. I did, yes. 

Well, get this: journalist Tim Burrows has an even better one. 

14 odd years after losing his wallet at Reading – note, just the one wallet – a guy has contacted him to tell him he found out it. At the time, before being the good guy and handing it in to lost and found, he and his mates pinched a tenner to load up on cheap cider, something he concedes as “childish and illegal”. But that’s only half the story. 

In a full confession, he wrote:

“Haha I think my friends found it in a ditch near orange and yellow camp in 2003 if indeed it was yours, it was handed into the lost and found, but not before one of them ‘burrowed’ a 10er out of it and bought as much white lightning as he could find... of course looking back on it, that was very childish and illegal but I always thought it would be nice to reach out and let you know that it went down as an annual tradition of cider drinking competitions named ‘The Timothy Burrows Challenge’. Sorry to inform you so many years later, would happily restore karma by offering to pay the £10 back to its rightful owner... I fear now the number of Timothy Burrows I have messaged in my attempt to do this.”

We know what you’re all thinking. How did the drinking game created in honour of Tim Burrows by the people who stole £10 from his wallet work exactly?

Since posting the initial tweet (which at the time of writing sits just shy of 6k retweets), the writer has come back with the rules. 

I’ve got an image, an image of hundreds of teenagers in their rubbish straw Trilbys, tightly enclosed within rolled up carpets, descending the hills of Reading Festival this summer shouting “FUCK YOU TIM BURROWS”.

(Main image: Rex) 



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