Did you know there is a local World famous tradition in Ashbourne, a market town, 10 minutes drive from Heywood Hall?
Shrovetide football is a traditional “Football” game held annually on Shrove Tuesday and Ash Wednesday, 28th February and 1st March 2017.
Unlike a traditional football match, it takes place over two eight hour periods, the goals are three miles apart and there are few rules.
It is Royal because the Royal family love it !! The prince of Wales then Edward V111 turned up the ball ( started the game) in 1928 & Prince Charles turned up the ball in 2003!
Football “Royalty” turned up the ball in 1975 when the late Brian Clough did the honours. It’s mainly celebrities in the town who turn up the game by dropping the ball into a crowd of footballers from a stone plinth at the Town’s Shaw Croft Car Park.
The ball is a special large football made of Portuguese cork so it floats, as it inevitably ends up in the river. It is hand painted by Ashbourne Artists. Once the ball is goaled, it is repainted with the name and design of the scorer and is theirs to keep.
The goals are 3 miles apart & the ball is goaled when it hits the milestone 3 successive times. The ball is rarely kicked, it generally moves through the town in a series of hugs, like a giant scrum in rugby made up of dozens, if not hundreds of people.
The match starts at at 2pm each day & finishes at 10pm or before if the ball is goaled after 5pm.
All the town’s shops are boarded up to protect from the hug.
So it is not for the faint hearted, but creates a great talking point in the area, and world wide !and of course is very popular with the locals!