A seal

October 2023 in review

Plenty happened in October, from sporting success to seal deaths, and there’s plenty you might have missed.

Here are the month’s major winners and losers.


Good month for: Europe’s Ryder Cup Team, the UK & Ireland Euro 2028 bid, Max Verstappen

Bad month for: England Rugby Team, England Cricket Team, Luis Rubiales, Journalists

On the first day of the month, Europe’s Ryder Cup team sealed a dominant victory in Rome, with Tommy Fleetwood wrapping up the win on the final day.

From that point on, it was somewhat downhill for English sport as England Rugby were narrowly knocked out of the World Cup in the semi-finals.

The Cricket World Cup got off to an even worse start from an English perspective as the defending champions lost six of their nine group-stage games.

Off the pitch, disgraced Spanish FA chief Luis Rubiales was banned from the sport for 3 years following his infamous Women’s World Cup final kiss.

Elsewhere, the UK and Ireland were awarded Euro 2028, and the Saudi 2034 World Cup bid was approved unopposed, sparking widespread condemnation.

Max Verstappen also secured his third Formula 1 Drivers’ Championship in Qatar following a dominant campaign, with Lewis Hamilton finishing the season third.


Good month for: Rats, a fox at Euston station

Bad month for: XL Bully dogs, Seals

Wales became the first country in the UK to ban the use of snares and glue traps for rats and other rodents in a move celebrated by human rights groups.

The RSPCA had a busy month after being called in to assist station staff in removing a fox from a toilet cubicle at London Euston station.

It was worse news for bigger animals, however, as Rishi Sunak announced a ban on XL Bully dogs following a spate of attacks.

Elsewhere, 522 Brazilian seals died following an avian flu outbreak sparking fears that a similar thing could happen on British beaches amid rising avian flu levels in seabird populations.

The issues are ongoing with the Brazilian death toll now estimated at over 1000.


Good month for: Wilko

Bad month for: Wilko, Wellington Arch, BBC Headquarters, Luton Airport Car Park

After the final Wilko shops closed on 8th October, the company’s new owners announced plans to reopen five by Christmas.

The Wellington Arch and BBC Building were both targeted in paint attacks by Just Stop Oil and pro-Palestine protestors respectively.

Luton Airport’s multi-storey car park suffered more permanent damage after a huge fire which led to numerous flight cancellations.


Good month for: Oysters

Bad month for: a Panamanian banana boat, Verity and Polesie cargo ships, a Danish fishing trawler

It was all happening in the shipping world as two cargo ships, the British boat Verity and Bahamas-registered Polesie, collided in the North Sea.

One person was killed and four went missing following the incident which led to the sinking of the Verity.

Elsewhere, a Panamanian-registered boat shipping bananas was found to be carrying £10m worth of cocaine during a stop at Sheerness, Kent.

During Storm Babet, the Lerwick RNLI crew launched an 18-hour operation to rescue the three-man crew of Danish trawler Westbank after it broke down off Shetland, successfully towing it to safety.

It wasn’t all bad news however as the Wild Oysters Project released thousands of wild oysters into an oyster reef aimed at improving the ecology of the coastline of the North West.


The most notable celebrity deaths in October were actor Matthew Perry and footballing legend Bobby Charlton.

Perry was revered for his work on TV-sitcom Friends, and his death at 54 caused an outpouring of support and nostalgia from around the globe.

Sir Bobby Charlton’s death caused a similar response as the Manchester United legend and 1966 World Cup winner passed away at 86 from complications following a fall.

His death leaves Sir Geoff Hurst as the last surviving player from England’s world-cup winning team.


October marked the start of the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza.

The October 7 Hamas attack on Israel prompted two months of near-continuous fighting which has claimed over 19,000 lives, as of 20 December.

Featured image credit: Pixabay/Wildfaces

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