The match was arranged to take place on Pitchcroft, with the use of the grandstand, for stakes of 300 sovereigns aside, and handbills were circulated. So great was the demand for seats that wagons and temporary stands had to be used, and cost an extra 10 shillings. All accommodation around Worcester was snapped up. The city was agog with expectation, which turned to alarm as the Severn rose and flooded Pitchcroft, almost postponing the event.
On Wednsday, January 7, 1823, the day of the fight, it was estimated that 40,000 were on Pitchcroft, and most had been in position by 8 am, By 10 am, the stands were grossly overcrowded, and before the fight started part of the temporary stand had collapsed. Later, the remainder collapsed, killing one and seriously injuring many. The fight was stopped to get the injured out of the wreckage, and over to the infirmary.