Statues, merch and a murder confession: Everything that’s happened in the year since we lost Long Boi

It’s been one year since our beloved longthy king sadly passed away (RIP Long Boi)

It’s been just over a year since our beloved campus icon, Long Boi, sadly passed away. Believed to be a cross between an Indian Runner duck and a Mallard duck, our longthy boy first appeared on campus around 2018, and quickly reached campus icon status due to his absolutely huge neck.

He quickly went viral and it wasn’t long before BBC Radio 1 presenter and duck fanatic, Greg James, caught whiff of our Boi and immediately became obsessed. Inviting Long Boi to quack live on his radio show, Greg helped Long Boi’s fame go not only national but international. The University of York even sold mini Long Boi teddies at 2022 graduations for students who weren’t ready to leave him.

After the University of York sadly confirmed Long Boi’s death in May 2023, he certainly hasn’t been forgotten among not only York staff and students, but people around the country.

Here’s a look at everything that’s happened since Long Boi sadly kicked the bucket.

Following the news of his passing, tributes poured in from the York community

After being reported missing, one local businesses even created long Boi donuts to spread the word of his disappearance. Sadly, they weren’t enough to bring him back to us.

On hearing the news of his death, Long Boi’s fans and friends took to social media to share their loving stories with him. Students and staff shared tales of their first time meeting him, as well as their favourite moments shared together.

Fan art was created by local artists for our beloved longthy king

Artist Katie Fleming reimagined Long Boi in the form of a vibrant, colourful tarot card, which she published on her Instagram page as a heartfelt tribute to the beloved duck.

The first Long Boi tattoo was created in his honour

As well as through fashion, Long Boi was immortalised after one doting student decided a tattoo the celebrity duck on her foot last February whilst on holiday in Portugal with the University of York Volleyball Club. Although not quite cracking (or quacking) the true length of his neck, the thought was still there.

Let’s just say that a Long Boi tattoo takes Uni of York pride and patriotism to the next level.

A York club night pledged to give 20 per cent of its profits to the RSPCA in memory of Long Boi

Back in May 2023, YorkPartyNetwork’s Underground Fridays at Ziggy’s promised to donate a portion of its earnings to the RSPCA in honour of students’ love for his longness. They even offered students a free shot if you had a picture or video of you feeding Long Boi, which was so incredibly wholesome.

Uni of York SU fundraised £5,527 f0r a statue of Long Boi in his memory

Not long after, YUSU announced in May last year that it was raising £10,000in donations to build a statue of Long Boi on campus. It also called for local artists to submit plans for the statue in helping design it. A total of 340 donations were made to the page to honour His Royal Longthness, raising just over five grand for a bronze memorial statue.

Another student wanted to be marked by Long Boi for life

Another student went viral in June 2023 for showing her love for Long Boi through a tattoo on her arm, this time depicting the duck with a more accurate neck length.

A new Long Boi was spotted on Uni of York campus

Just as the uni thought that long-necked waterfowl had disappeared from campus for good, a successor to Long Boi showed up on the scene.

In October 2023, a long-necked duck that closely resembled the original Long Boi appeared by the lake near Derwent on Campus West. While his neck is not quite as longthy as Long Boi’s was, students flocked to social media to nickname the new duck “Long Boi Jr.” and “Long Boi II'”.

Some thought it may be the original Long Boi, but The York Tab consulted a duck expert who confirmed that he had not in fact risen, but was another tall boi.

Let’s hope that Long Boi II lives up to his longthy legacy as Long Boi’s successor.

Long Boi hot water bottles were given out on campus

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by YUSU (@yorkunisu)

YUSU made our dreams come true in January when it solved every York student’s winter suffering. Giving out free Long Boi hot water bottles to the first 100 people in the queue on campus, it’s safe to say that we were all very jealous for not getting one.

Tributes were made in 2024 York graduations

Proving that we will never forget our lanky duck, the University of York even paid tribute to Long Boi in February 2024 graduations. Students attending their graduation witnessed a speech dedicated to the famous campus duck, which brought a murmur of admiration across the audience.

Photos of his longness were displayed on screens, while a university staff member spoke about his legacy on stage.

Greg James accused Ed Gamble of eating Long Boi on an episode of the Great British Menu


so ed gamble ate long boi…but as james acaster reveals, things are more sinister than we thought 👀 #edgamble #radio1 #jamesacaster @gregjames

♬ original sound – BBC Radio 1

Also in February, our Greg accused famous comedian and Great British Menu Judge, Ed Gamble, of eating the Uni of York’s legendary Long Boi after watching a clip of Ed Gamble eating a dish on the Great British Menu. The dish was called “Big Bren’s Runner Duck” and consisted of a “duck neck sausage”. Greg’s reaction was hilarious, with the presenter saying: “Oh God…oh not the neck please. Why the neck?”

Greg  also said that Ed was “stressing [him] out” with the whole ordeal. I mean, what’s wrong with fish?

Greg James and BBC Radio 1 released Long Boi merch

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by BBC Radio 1 (@bbcradio1)

To immortalise Long Boi through fashion, BBC Radio 1 released a stylish set of merchandise bearing stencils of the longthy duck. Greg James announced that he had created and designed one of a kind Long Boi merch and that it would be up for sale at Radio One Big Weekend last weekend.

Modelling the garms last month, Greg shared photos in the iconic bucket hat and t-shirt and announced that items would soon be available online for purchase.

A Lancaster student confessed to killing Long Boi at The Roses in 2023

In late May this year, a shocking confession from a Lancaster University student claimed that he and his mates were responsible for the untimely death of Long Boi.

In the confession, the “Lancaster lad”  claimed that he and his mates wanted to “grab” Long Boi and take a photo with him for a laugh whilst at York. However, they detailed how they accidentally injured Long Boi after he bit one of them, resulting in them killing him in a “humane” act.

The confession has since been debunked as untrue, thank god.

Becky Hill sung a charity tribute to Long Boi at Big Weekend


Becky Hill is performing her charity single for long boi at big weekend 🙏 RIP long boi 🦆 #longboi #beckyhill #bigweekend

♬ original sound – BBC Radio 1

Singer Becky Hill even echoed Greg James’s fondness for the long-necked waterfowl, singing a charity tribute to the beloved duck at Radio One’s Big Weekend.

Related stories recommended by this writer:

• He hasn’t risen: New Long Boi on York’s campus is unlikely to be the original, says expert

• How Long Boi went from humble beginnings on York’s campus to international fame

 ‘A very very tall campus duck’: Tribute to Long Boi made at University of York graduation

Featured image via Instagram @greg_james @bbcradio1 @yorkunisu