Lash hound VC criticised after crowdsurfing sports awards and ‘necking wine’

Vice-Chancellor branded the ‘Wolf of Northampton’ after buying jagerbombs and necking shots university sports awards.


The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Northampton, has been dubbed the “Wolf of Northampton” after some heavy drinking and a dance off with students.

Professor Nick Petford was among a number of senior staff who handed out awards to undergraduates attending the student union’s Sports Awards at Northampton Saints Rugby Club.

After a three course meal comedian Lee Nelson entertained the crowd of 400 people and encouraged Mr Petford and Jane Bunce, the University’s Director of Student and Academic Services, to neck glasses of wine.

Nick Petford and other university staff being encouraged to drink by comedian Lee Nelson.  A university vice chancellor has been accused of bringing his profession into disrepute after he was pictured necking shots and CROWD-SURFING  at a boozy student awards bash.  See NTI story NTIUNI.  Professor Nick Petford, who earns over £200,000 a year in his role at the University of Northampton, was seen drinking heavily and having a DANCE OFF with students.  He has since been dubbed the "Wolf of Northampton" - a reference to Martin Scorcese's film 'The Wolf of Wall Street"  following his boozy antics.   The 53-year-old had been attending the Student's Sports Awards held at a function room at Northampton Saints Rugby Club on March 20.  Professor Petford was among a number of senior staff who handed out awards in a number of different categories.  After a three course meal comedian Lee Nelson entertained the crowd of 400 where he encouraged Mr Petford and Jane Bunce, the university's Director of Student and Academic Services, to neck glasses of wine. They then had a dance competition before being pictured crowd-surfing across a sea of students who passed them over their heads.

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Having seen it off his beverage and entered a dance competition, the 53-year-old was caught on camera crowd-surfing across a sea of students.

But after images emerged of his boozy behaviour on social media sites some have called for action to be taken.

One student said: “He was buying shots for the students and joining in with the Jagerbombs  – he was well up for it and having a great time.

Nick Petford crowd-surfing.  A university vice chancellor has been accused of bringing his profession into disrepute after he was pictured necking shots and CROWD-SURFING  at a boozy student awards bash.  See NTI story NTIUNI.  Professor Nick Petford, who earns over £200,000 a year in his role at the University of Northampton, was seen drinking heavily and having a DANCE OFF with students.  He has since been dubbed the "Wolf of Northampton" - a reference to Martin Scorcese's film 'The Wolf of Wall Street"  following his boozy antics.   The 53-year-old had been attending the Student's Sports Awards held at a function room at Northampton Saints Rugby Club on March 20.  Professor Petford was among a number of senior staff who handed out awards in a number of different categories.  After a three course meal comedian Lee Nelson entertained the crowd of 400 where he encouraged Mr Petford and Jane Bunce, the university's Director of Student and Academic Services, to neck glasses of wine. They then had a dance competition before being pictured crowd-surfing across a sea of students who passed them over their heads.

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“There’s certain rules I imagine they must abide by when engaging with students and I’m not sure crowd-surfing is one of them.

“Most of us thought it was a bit of fun but you could tell some people were uncomfortable with his behaviour considering he is so senior.”

He also said the Vice-Chancellor was left looking a little worse for wear after the drinking continued into the early hours of the morning.

Nick Petford having a dance off.  A university vice chancellor has been accused of bringing his profession into disrepute after he was pictured necking shots and CROWD-SURFING  at a boozy student awards bash.  See NTI story NTIUNI.  Professor Nick Petford, who earns over £200,000 a year in his role at the University of Northampton, was seen drinking heavily and having a DANCE OFF with students.  He has since been dubbed the "Wolf of Northampton" - a reference to Martin Scorcese's film 'The Wolf of Wall Street"  following his boozy antics.   The 53-year-old had been attending the Student's Sports Awards held at a function room at Northampton Saints Rugby Club on March 20.  Professor Petford was among a number of senior staff who handed out awards in a number of different categories.  After a three course meal comedian Lee Nelson entertained the crowd of 400 where he encouraged Mr Petford and Jane Bunce, the university's Director of Student and Academic Services, to neck glasses of wine. They then had a dance competition before being pictured crowd-surfing across a sea of students who passed them over their heads.

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The Northampton branch of the The University College Union (UCU) said his “irresponsible” actions “promoted a laddish culture at the expense of Northampton’s reputation”.

He later tried to deny the claims by suggesting it was his twin brother. The event caused such a stir that #wolfofnorthampton was trending the following day.

However others were not too complimentary with Mark Berfeld tweeting: “Vice-Chancellor on 200k acts like the Wolf of Wall Street #wolfofnorthampton #disgrace.”

Yesterday in a statement the UCU said: “The box office hit The Wolf of Wall Street depicts morally corrupt Jordan Belfort enjoying a booze-fuelled, hedonistic lifestyle financed by corruption and criminality.

“To many of the students and staff at the University of Northampton it was disturbing, although perhaps not surprising, when some students adopted the hashtag #WolfOfNorthampton to describe the behaviour of their VC Nick Petford after he indulged in his own apparently booze-fuelled  antics, competing in a dance-off with the Director of Student and Academic Services.

“Similarly some may think laddish behaviour nothing more than harmless high-jinx, worthy of the hashtag #lad adopted by other student revellers.

“Behaviour of this type by Senior Managers undermines the hard work that the majority of staff and students at the University put in to creating a welcoming and inclusive environment.

“We are deeply concerned about the disrepute this sort of irresponsible behaviour by our Senior Managers brings to an institution we work hard to support and promote, and call on the governors to address this behaviour so that we – and our students – can continue to be justly proud to be part of the University of Northampton.”

Students at the University of Sussex also criticised his actions as academics across the country are being overworked, underpaid and un-supported and students are faced with crippling debt.

Professor Petford was previously Pro-Vice Chancellor at Bournemouth University and before that Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Kingston University.