1989 Twenty six years ago this week at Blantyre Highland Games in the field beside Wilkies Farm, this photo was taken. Jón Páll Sigmarsson 3rd runner up in the world strongman competition, signs autographs. He was every bit the showman. During a deadlift event in the 1985 World’s Strongest Man competition, someone in the audience called him an Eskimo. Jón Páll shouted back: “I am not an Eskimo, I am a Viking!” and successfully completed his lift.
Only 4 years on from this photo, on 16 January 1993 Jón Páll Sigmarsson suffered a cardiac arrest and died whilst training in his gym, aged only 33.
A few recognisable Blantyre faces here, but I’ll leave you all to tag.
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William Houldsworth It’s nice to see memories about Blantyre’s Highland Games, which was organised by Blantyre Round Table and hosted by the Wilkie family at Bardykes Farm. The first games were held in 1987 and continued on for only a couple more years until land developments at Bardykes prevented other games being held. The Wilkie family hosted the annual Donkey Derby, Barn Dances, BBQs (with crowds of up to 1,000 folk in the largest marqee Blantyre ever seen), all organised by the Round Table .. at times with the help of other local organisations too. The Round Table won National and International Awards for for contributions to the Community both at home at in Malawi. …. Bardykes Farm was the centre piece of many fund raising activities to help many local charities throughout Blantyre back in the 70s/ 80s and 90s. Thanks to Sandy Wilkie and his family for putting up with it all …. great memories indeed. I must dig out some photos and video clips …