‘The king of Campus West’: Tributes pour in as York confirms Long Boi has sadly died

Greg James is holding a minute of quacking for Long Boi on the BBC Radio One Breakfast Show tomorrow


Tributes have been pouring in for Long Boi, The University of York’s famous campus duck, after The University of York has confirmed he has sadly passed away.

Last week, rumours began to spread about Long Boi’s well-being, with students expressing their fears after not seeing him in weeks. He was then confirmed missing by the university, with many fearing his disappearance meant that he had died.

Long Boi’s official Instagram page said: “Very sadly, this disappearance suggests a strong possibility that Long Boi may have passed away. It is unclear how or exactly when this may have happened, and we can only hope that if Long Boi really is gone, his passing was peaceful.”

Today, The Univerity of York confirmed Long Boi’s death and issued a statement on their Instagram which said: “Following a period of almost two months without a confirmed sighting of Long Boi, we are today forced to conclude that he has passed away.

“We appreciate this is not the resolution that many people were wishing for, but hope that acknowledging his passing allows us to focus on celebrating his life and commemorating the time he spent with us.”

The response not only across the university but also nationally has been huge with Long Boi’s Instagram post reaching over 24,000 likes. Here are some of the tributes to the UK’s tallest and most-loved duck:

‘His Royal Longthness was the King of Campus West’

The University of York’s Student Union said on Instagram: “We may never know what happened to him, but we do know that he was loved by all and a true celebrity.

“His royal longthness was the King of Campus West, the ruler of the lake, the pride and joy of all students.”

They went on to highlight how Long Boi’s fame “brought into the mainstream” the importance of looking after animals on campus and protecting wildlife. York’s sabbatical officers are now working to commemorate Long Boi to “ensure his legacy lasts on campus and makes positive change”.

In the University’s official statement confirming his death, they also said YUSU was planning “a fitting tribute” to Long Boi and will “confirm details in due course.”

Long Boi brought ‘joy to so many on campus’

Official social media pages for the university have been sharing their tributes online.

On their official Instagram page, Uni of York reposted the statement from Long Boi’s Instagram to their story, captioning it with a heartbroken emoji. York’s library also shared a picture of Long Boi on their Twitter page, saying how he was “down to Earth and very funny”.

The University of York’s campus safety team shared a black and white image of Long Boi with a member of the team, with the caption: “Sad news today about Longboi. He brought joy to so many on campus and will be missed. RIP.”

‘I only met him once, but I was in awe’

Many students have taken to social media to share their memories of Long Boi, and the comments on his official Instagram are flooded with tributes. One comment said “rest in peace my little long friend”, whilst another described him as “a real one to the very end. Fly high little lad, we’ll see you on the other side.”

Many have expressed their devastation and are suggesting ways in which his life could be commemorated. Some are suggesting funerals and memorials, while one person commented: “I am sending an email to York Ghosts to get them to make a Long Boi shaped ghost”.

Students have been sharing their memories with The York Tab, some who shared very recent pictures of them feeding the famous duck. One student said: “I only met him once on the way back from a night out but I was in awe, I’ll miss him.”

‘Oh Long Boi, why must you go’

Another student shared a poem with The York Tab written by ChatGPT about “the death of Long Boi”.

The AI-generated tribute begins: “Oh Long Boi, oh Long Boi, why must you go, leaving us here in sorrow and woe”. ChatGTP went on to describe Long Boi’s “gentle gaze and peaceful demeanour”, and said: “We know, in our hearts, that you are free, running wild and tall, in a world, that only you can see”.

The poem concludes: “So Long Boi, oh Long Boi we bid you adieu, may you rest in peace with skies of blue, we’ll never forget the joy you gave, and we’ll honour you with each stride we take”.

Doughnut tributes

Today Doe Bakehouse, a doughnut shop based in York, has shared its own unique tribute to Long Boi on its Instagram. They have baked a Long Boi-themed doughnut, decorated with his name iced above a picture of him. They said: “We’ve been out all night with stale doughnuts, shouting his name and there is still no sighting.

“We have today made some Longboi doughnuts to spread the message that he is missing, without eggsplanation. We want to quack the case but worry this may be the end”

In the post, Doe Bakehouse also called for York to have an extra bank holiday in Long Boi’s honour. Long Boi’s official Instagram commented on the post, saying: “These are amazing doughnuts he would have loved to scran them.”

‘Long live Long Boi’ says Greg James

Last week, when it was announced Long Boi was missing but before the confirmation of his death,  radio presenter Greg James took to Twitter and The BBC Radio One’s Breakfast Show to share his disbelief at the news.

Greg has a long history with Long Boi, having brought him onto BBC Breakfast in March this year to quack on air.

Greg James started his breakfast show by calling it a “sombre morning” as “Britain’s tallest duck, Long Boi, has been reported missing, some are presuming dead”.

He said: “I however am not presuming anything, I’m not having it… We have to believe, where would we be without hope, and where would we be without this duck. It can’t be goodbye, he’s only been missing a couple of weeks”. He said that the entire show would be dedicated to investigating what has happened to Long Boi, and later brought on a duck expert who breeds Indian Runner Ducks, to talk about the situation.

Then today, with the official news of Long Boi’s passing Greg James dedicated the show to him featuring tributes and sharing memories of his life. George Ezra also wrote in to the show, saying: “My thoughts are with you at this difficult time.”

Tomorrow, Greg James will hold a “minute of quacking” , instead of a minute of silence, in Long Boi’s honour.

Long Boi edits

Other students have been mourning Long Boi’s loss by creating edits of the duck. Popular York meme page @imjustyork_ placed Long Boi alongside deceased icons such as Lady Diana and Club Penguin with the caption “Welcome Long Boi”. Another student shared an edit with Long Boi joining the Queen in Heaven.

If you have any tributes to Long Boi please DM us on Instagram @theyorktab

Featured image via @Longboiyork, @doebakehouse and @feleena15.

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