Royal Shrovetide Football: the traditional football game Ashbourne

Royal Shrovetide Football: the traditional football game Ashbourne
Brian Clough, by then coach Nottingham Forest, before I start giving Royal Shrovetide Football Match back in the 80 (PA Images)

English football, and rugby, anchor originated in past ballgames, missing the passage of time. Not so in Ashbourne, to keep alive their traditional soccer game. And is that, documented at least since 1.683, although there are historical references that place its origin in the twelfth century, It is held the longest meeting the world. In every sense.

There, during the second Tuesday and Wednesday February, disputing a meeting of a rudimentary football in a field three miles long, some 4 kilometers and 800 meters and one day between the start and end. The teams are facing either side of the river bank Henmore that runs through town, dividing the population during those two days into two irreconcilable camps: los Up’ards and the Down’ards.

The oldest party
Old picture of this peculiar game (Getty Images)


In this football match no referee, the honor of the participants prevails in avoiding pitfalls, nor is there certain number of players, just to be a resident of either bank of the river. The rules are simple: The meeting should start at two least five p.m. Tuesday, you can play with his foot and hand, while not hold back in your arms ball more than one minute, always approximate time, It is prohibited through the cemetery and park the population and Nor it is allowed -for the peace of the participants and as it appears in the rules of encounter dating from the seventeenth century- killing an opponent to take the ball. Everything else is legal.

Each of the teams have to get reach the opponent's goal, it is not about any goal, but a big stick opposite the door of the two large mills in the village, north and south, and hit the post three times with the ball, always kicking foot. This particular football match lasts eight hours, but in a period of twenty-four, divided in two times according to the result.

If someone achieves both before five p.m., the game is restarted until ten p.m.. If there is no goal in the first period, The match will restart the next day, Wednesday, the two least five p.m., after a popular meal accompanied by heavy intake of beer, it is known that sport is always essential adequate hydration. The prize for the winner? Keep the ball until the next edition and look over his shoulder at his opponent during the same period. Almost nothing.

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