THE winning ball in this year's Uppies and Downies series has been dedicated to a man who died following a medical episode at the Easter Tuesday game.

The series was won by the Uppies after an epic battle for the ball on Saturday, April 6 in which Richard Hodgson, 33, from Seaton hailed his second ball, after previously hailing one in 2012.

Speaking to the Times and Star, Richard said: "The game was absolutely carnage, it was probably one of the toughest games I have been in, it was just non stop graft throughout the whole game. It didn't go far to be fair and that is always a sign of a good game, we are pretty much where it got through off at the whole night.

"When I snuck the ball up my top we were just down from the bridge where it got threw off."

Times and Star: The sun sets on the Easter Saturday game of Uppies and Downies 2024.The sun sets on the Easter Saturday game of Uppies and Downies 2024. (Image: Tom Kay)

Richard managed to sneak the ball up his jumper before creating confusion in the scrum. He praised uppies Nathan Askew and John Hewitson who created two dummy runs creating the opportunity for Richard to walk away with the ball, alongside Denver Cargo who Richard said was 'brilliant'.

The pair walked over the carpark and through Workington town centre, through Vulcans Lane and Mansion Gardens before heading through Stainburn School into Curwen Hall where he eventually hailed it.

Richard said: "I would walk to Scotland to make sure I got the ball, it was brilliant. I got one in 2012 and I didn't think the buzz would be the same but it's like I never had one, it was just brilliant like."

Times and Star: Winner Richard 'Barrell' Hodgson described the Saturday game as an epic battle.Winner Richard 'Barrell' Hodgson described the Saturday game as an epic battle. (Image: Tom Kay)

Richard dedicated his ball to lifelong Downies player Graeme(Willox)Dixon, who passed away last week following a medical episode at Tuesday's game. 

The series kicked off on Good Friday with a win for Uppies John Irving, before Daniel Fryer pulled it back for the Downies on Easter Tuesday.

The win for Richard on Saturday sealed the deal for the Uppies claiming the 'bragging right's' for the year ahead.

This article has been written as a tribute to Graeme (Willox) Dixon who loved the game.