Erika Roe, also known as the Twickenham Streaker, is remembered for a topless run across the pitch of Twickenham Stadium during the England vs. Australia rugby union match on 2 January 1982. It has been described by the BBC as “perhaps the most famous of all streaks”.
Roe, who later claimed to have been inspired by alcohol, ran onto the field during half time, exposing her 40-inch bosom. Her friend who joined the streak, Sarah Bennett, had been supposed to join her, briefly took her top off as well, as Roe was being led away but was intercepted when she had only gone a few yards. Roe was detained by police officers on the field, one of whom covered Roe’s chest with his helmet while leading her off the field.
England captain Bill Beaumont was trying to give his half time talk to his team mates, and later recalled “I was trying to get through to the boys – but most of them seemed to be gazing over my shoulder”; the late, great Bill McLaren, in TV commentary, said Im not quite sure who this fella plays for, and Ken Baily covered her chest with a Union flag to the strains of Land of Hope and Glory pending the arrival of the boys in blue with helmets.
Roe was working at that time in a bookstore in Petersfield, Hampshire, and had bunked off work for the day, admitted it was a spur of the moment thing as she was getting a bit bored.
“I heard all this screaming and thought, ‘I have to get off, the second half is starting’. But I quickly realised the roar was for me.”
She subsequently left her job and later moved with her husband and children to Portugal to become an organic farmer of sweet potatoes.