Just champion for Rotherham pigeon fancier, 9

Best Young pigeon fancier Lewis Fryer (9) with his clean legged ice pigeon
Best Young pigeon fancier Lewis Fryer (9) with his clean legged ice pigeon

A nine-year-old Rotherham lad has cause to celebrate after winning a championship award at the region’s rural extravaganza, Countryside Live.

Little Lewis Fryer took home the ‘Championship Young Fancier’ title at the weekend, with his Clean-Legged Ice pigeon.

The schoolboy, from Kimberworth, has been breeding birds since he was a toddler and was absolutely delighted with his award.

He told The Star: “I really like pigeons, everything about them. I like their different colours and the feathers. I like cleaning them and looking after them.”

His winning bird is one of more than 200 he keeps at his home, where the family has a 52ft long loft.

He also keeps Old Dutch Capuchines, Frillbacks, Fantails and British Nuns.

Countryside Live, the little sister event to the Great Yorkshire Show, was held at Harrogate over the weekend and attracted a record number of visitors, with 12,689 people through the gates.

Lewis’ mum, Debbie, said: “Lewis has been in and out of the pigeon loft since he was two years old.

“The pigeons started out being owned by his dad James, but now Lewis has taken them over and he has more than 200 - it’s incredible.

“He loves absolutely everything about them.”

Exhibitors come from all over the region for Countryside Live, which is in its eleventh year.

It is organised by the Yorkshire Agricultural Society, a charity formed in 1837 dedicated to supporting the farming industry and rural life.

The annual event has a popular pigeon and poultry section, with 769 entries in the pigeon section this year alone.

Show director Bill Cowling said: “The event had a great buzz at the weekend, and the weather was kind too. The turnout was spectacular.”