Witness a 16-hour football match in the streets of Ashbourne, an eccentric sporting event that’s been played since the 17th century.
Unlike a conventional football match, the Ashbourne Royal Shrovetide Football Match is played over two eight hour periods, the goals are three miles apart and there are very few rules!
As you may have guessed, the game is nothing like a standard football match. The leather ball which has a cork inner to help it float when it inevitably ends up in the river – an occurrence that doesn’t stop the locals from playing – is ‘turned up’ from a stone plinth on Shaw Croft car park in Ashbourne town centre.
The ball is thrown into the air and into the ‘hug’, a large group of players who try to move the ball to their goal by pushing against the opposition. Hundreds of spectators enjoy the game, with many following the ball all day, through the streets of the town, over local fields, and you guessed it, into the river.
Royal Shrovetide Football takes places on the last weekend in February.
Content provided by Marketing Peak District & Derbyshire
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