25 September 2008

1982: Erika Roe - The Twickenham Streaker

Twickers Winning Streak

Sunday Mirror, 3/1/1982

This daring girl was the tops for 60,000 rugby fans at Twickenham - and millions of TV viewers yesterday. She did her strip during the England v. Australia international. Oh, and by the way, England won.

End of newspaper blurb.

“Streaking” - throwing off all your clothes and cutting a dash in public - was (apparently) a craze in America in the early 1970s.

It probably came about because of all that 1960s “Be free, Man!” stuff - although people had run amok in public naked for kicks before that. 20th Century Words by John Ayto (Oxford, 1999) records this quote from a 1974 American Runner’s World magazine: “During the winter of 1958-9 a group of us ‘streaked’ all over Berkeley.”

So perhaps it was the rockin’ rollin’ 50s that set the trend in motion?

Who knows?

Over here in England, we’d sniggered over a song called The Streak in 1974 (“Here he comes! There he goes! And he ain’t wearin’ no clothes!”), and one or two hardy souls had flashed their bits, but the craze never really got going (not surprising when you consider our climate).

And then, in January 1982, a young woman called Erika Roe braved the English elements, together with a pal, and invaded the rugby pitch at Twickenham - bravely carrying all before her.

She is our best remembered and most celebrated streaker…
 Titters At Twickers

I say chaps! It’s shirts off at the big, big match

A buxom brunette had a nice try yesterday - at converting millions of TV viewers to the jolly old sport of rugger.

She ran on to the pitch at half-time during the England v Australia match at Twickenham - and promptly began to peel off her blouse.

There were hearty roars of approval from the 60,000 chaps in the crowd as the stripper - with the chest measurements of a full-back - and a girl-friend, built more like a fly-half, tried to do a lap of honour.

Even the England team, who were getting a pep-talk on the field, couldn’t keep their eyes off the topless antics.

Skipper Billy Beaumont said: “I was trying to get through to the boys - but most of them seemed to be gazing over my shoulder.”

Finally the topless pair were tackled and put into touch by smiling policemen. A 24-year-old girl from Hampshire was later questioned and warned she may be summoned for insulting behaviour.

The display, shown live on BBC’s “Grandstand”, didn’t distract the England team - they went on to win 15 - 11, Beaumont’s 11th win in 20 matches as skipper.

He’s clearly on a winning streak.

Daily Mirror, 7/1/1982

Public opinion on Erika's ... er... revelations differed, as seen above. Some blokes (probably an awful lot!) liked them:

Thanks Erika Roe for doing a streak at the televised Twickenham rugby international. I've seldom seen so many smiling faces at work as the lads discussed it all on Monday morning.

Good luck to Erika. She has given the men of Britain a wonderful tonic.

Of course, women seeking "equality" were not so keen:

God help our chances of being treated as equals when someone like Erika Roe thoroughly enjoys streaking in front of thousands of rugby fans. What a silly woman she is.

And what did I think? Well, I could see both sides.


Anonymous said...

You could see both sides? LOL!

Anonymous said...

But is anyone interested in the REAL story behind Erika Roe? I know her, and I truly hope someone will write her life story one day, as you would find yourself wanting to go for a beer with her. She is a woman who would inspire greatness in us all. A more possitve, warm and crazy woman you will never meet... Come on Erika, write your TRUE story for us. Its got to be better than the trash that we read about on all these "plastic idols"... Nothing "REAL" about Celebs these days. At least Erika is one of us. Love ya Gal X

Anonymous said...

Every now and then I google my own name in to get some snippets I need to put in my diary... I came across this site. And. well. I am flattered that there is someone out there that appreciates the "real" me.. thank you, whoever yo are for cheek-reddening compliments.Call me for a beer soon, or get me on facebook. You do not have to be Anon. this is me, Erika, older, hopefully wiser, and still having the time of my life. Live to Love, Love to Live. Ta and Hugs X

Drew said...

Great to hear from you, Erika. Hopefully the 2010 comment writer will get in touch with you. This site just covers 1980s news and pop culture, which is how you come to feature in it, but I would certainly be interested to read your story if ever you get round to writing your autobiography. Wishing you all the best.

Anonymous said...

erika i used to meet you for sunday lunch with the late john banting in privett and still have a copy of a single record you made
where do you live now

Anonymous said...

Thank you kindly Anon. Hope life is treating you well x

Anonymous said...

Thank you for that. working on book now.. hard to find publisher bit will keep trying.

Anonymous said...

haha. I too have a couple of copies. wonder who you are. I just happen to have stumbled on this site doing some research. Did you know Gibbo too.. sadly passed away this summer. i go to Queens head sheet occasionally. Leave a message there if we knew eachother well??