Ashbourne Shrovetide Football 2006 - 1st March 2006
Date 1st March 2006 Description Ashbourne Shrovetide Football
Distance (With Ball) 1.75 miles Temperature 0°C
Distance (Home) 1.25 miles Weather Sunny and cold
Ashbourne Shrovetide Football
This is a game played by hundreds or even thousands of players who are attempting to score a goal at either Clifton or Sturston villages (3 miles apart) with Ashbourne at its centre. The game is played over two days (Shrove Tuesday and Ash Wednesday) with a hand-painted, cork-filled ball. The earliest reference to the game dates back to 1683 but it is thought that the game has been in existance for around 1,000 years.

Each day the game is played by two teams (the Up'ards and the Down'ards) from 2.00pm until 10.00pm with very few rules. If you were born north of the River Henmore you are an Up'ard - if you were born south of the river you are a Down'ard.The game has also royal connections and in fact the ball was thrown up by Prince Charles on Wednesday 5th March 2003.

After a Shrovetide lunch at the Green Man & Blacks Head (where "The Shrovetide Song" is sung) all participants and spectators mass on the Shaw Croft Car Park for the official start. After singing "Auld Lang Syne" the ball is turned up by a celebrity or local businessman on each of the days. Then the ball is moved in a "Hug" through the streets of the town, across local fields and even along the local Henmore River which flows between the two goals. The ball may also end up in the Fishpond which is opposite the Shaw Croft.

The object of the game is to "goal a ball" at either of the postsat Sturston Mill (for the Up'ards) or at Clifton Mill (for the Down'ards). As this is a local game it is not possible for just anyone to goal the ball. When the ball gets within striking distance of the post, leading players, usually drawn from a handful of well-known local families, draw lots as to who goals it. As the ball nears one of the goals, the game is paused while the ball is handed to the player selected to score. To goal a ball, the scorer stands in the River Henmore and taps the ball three times against the stone goal plinth. Once a ball is goaled, that particular game ends. If the ball is goaled before 5pm, a new ball is turned up at Shaw Croft and a new game started. The scorer is allowed to keep the ball.

Sturston Mill Goal (Up'ards)
Clifton Mill Goal (Down'ards)

Ashbourne Shrovetide 2006 Result

Up'ards 1 Down'ards 1

Up'ards - Wayne Leeman (Wednesday around 6.30pm) Down'ards - Brendan Harwood (Tuesday around 9.30pm)

Ball "Turned Up" on Tuesday by Lewis Rose (Councellor Derbyshire Dales District Council) and on Wednesday by George Handley (member of Shrovetide Committee).

Tuesday's Ball 2006
Ashbourne Shrovetide Map - Following Ball (Blue Line) - Walking Home (Red Line)
© Crown Copywright. All rights reserved. Licence number 100047125
On the Shaw Croft car park - about to start
And up the ball goes - by George Handley
Closer up - the ball is thrown backwards
"Birds Eye" view of the game
Even better "Birds Eye" view from film crew
The Hug gets a push
The Hug is now in the town near Church Street
Ball is thrown up out of Hug in Dig Street
A closer view of the ball
The streets are absolutely packed
Trying to get a better view
The ball emerges from the Hug once more
Everyone wants to touch the ball - Dig Street
The Hug is now outside the Doctors Surgery
And up in the air it goes again
Still outside the Doctors Surgery
The ball is alongside the Doctors Surgery now
Now its near to Somerfield
Then across Shaw Croft & into the Fishpond!!
Not many with the ball now - in the Fishpond
The ball then ends up on Recreation Ground
On the School Playing fields
Close up of the ball on School Playing fields
The ball rises again - its getting a bit muddy!!
Still hoards of spectators - in fields at Sturston
Where it all starts from

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