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Royal Shrovetide Football

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Ashbourne Royal Shrovetide Football 2014 (GoPro)

Every year, thousands of locals from rival sides of a rugged English town brutally compete in an ancient sports game that is the lifeblood of the community, and the origin of soccer, rugby, and football. This is Royal Shrovetide mass football played in the town of Ashbourne, UK.
Filmed with the GoPro HD Hero

A Ben Holmes Media Production:

The Spirit of Ashbourne - Shrovetide Football 2011

A Documentary I made for my university dissertation about Shrovetide Football- the ancient game of the up'ards v down'ards played in the streets of Ashbourne in Derbyshire.
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Ashbourne Royal Shrovetide Football - Shrove Tuesday 2008

Ancient game of football, 2 teams, hundreds of players and thousands of spectators, goals 3 miles apart and play is through the streets of the town.

Shrovetide Football

A short intro sequence from a documentary about Shrovetide Mass Football
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Ashbourne Royal Shrovetide Football - Ash Wednesday 2008

Day 2 of the annual Shrovetide Football game in Ashbourne, Derbyshire, UK. Final Score Up'ards 2 - Down'ards 0

Ashbourne Royal Shrovetide Football 2013 (GoPro Edit)

Every year, thousands of locals from rival sides of a rugged English town brutally compete in an ancient sports game that is the lifeblood of the community -- and the origin of soccer, rugby, and football. This is Royal Shrovetide mass football played in the town of Ashbourne, UK.
Filmed with the GoPro HD Hero

Music: Kasabian - Club Foot

Filmed/edited by Ben Holmes
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Shrovetide Football Ash Wednesday 2009

Day 2 of the annual Shrovetide Football game in Ashbourne, Derbyshire, UK. Robyn Wright scores for the Upards at Sturston.

Ashbourne Shrovetide football 2011

Downards pushing the ball towards Clifton

Wild in the streets

A documentary that explores the game of Shrovetide football that has been played in the town of Ashbourne, England for the past 350 years. There are almost no rules and the object is to get the ball from the center of town to one of two goals three miles apart at the opposite sides of Ashbourne. The winner is whoever scores more goals over two days of play.

Ashbourne Royal Shrovetide Football - 20th Feb 2007

Follow me on Twitter :
For details of the 2013 game :


If you can spot yourself in my video, leave a comment with the timecode where you spotted yourself.

There is more footage in my Extra video..


All images and video footage was taken by me on 20th February 2007.
Ashbourne Football is one of the Oldest Shrovetide football games in England.
It was first recorded in 1682

The Game is played annually on Shrove Tuesday and Ash Wednesday, and consists of two teams, one from anyone born to the North of the River Henmore, and one from people born South of the river, these are known as Up'ards and Down'ards.

The Goals are on the sites of Old mills, one at Clifton and one at Sturston, these are three miles apart.
A goal is scored by a player striking the mill wheel three times with the Ball.
The ball may be kicked, carried or thrown, but generally proceeds in a series of 'hugs' invisible to the spectator. The game can last for many hours, finishing well after dark.

The game starts at 2 o'clock in the afternoon, when a specially prepared ball - larger than a football and filled with cork which weighs around 4lbs is thrown in by a visiting guest of honor.

My video should hopefully give you an idea of what its like.

Things to look out for...
3.45 The white ball flying about is NOT the actual ball, but funny to see it.
4.27 The guy falling over the wall,see his legs
5.14 The metal fence being crushed, near fire station.

The final part of my video is around 5.50pm in Sainsburys loading bay. A goal was scored at 8.45pm on this day.

For photos of this event, see my website :


If you can spot yourself in my video, leave a comment or get in touch.

Tuesdays Game was won by the Up'ards, A goal being scored about 8.45pm.

Wednesdays Game was a draw as no one scored.

You may also like to watch my 2009 footage :
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Ashbourne Royal Shrovetide Football 2014 - Finally breaks free from the river.

After many a 'Heave-Ho' the ball finally breaks free from the Henmore Brook!

A goal was scored by the Up-ards less than 20 mins afterwards at 17:04 - Four minutes too late for a second ball to be turned up.

It was perhaps one of the shortest games in Shrovetide Footballs history since another ball could have been turned up with the possibility of another 5 hours play.

Royal Shrovetide Football 2018

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Ashbourne Royal Shrovetide Football

Action from the first day of Royal Ashbourne Shrovetide Football 2009. Score on day 1-0 to Down'ards.

Leave a comment if you spot yourself.

Video free to use :)

shrovetide football shrove tuesday 2009

Day 1 of the annual Shrovetide Football game in Ashbourne, Derbyshire, UK. Steve Bloor scores for the Downards at Clifton.

Royal Shrovetide Football 2018

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Royal Shrovetide Football in Ashbourne, England

No, its not some sort of a street riot, its Royal Shrovetide Football in Ashbourne, Derbyshire, England. This is an ancient annual sporting event where local Ashbourians divide themselves into 2 teams - 'The Downards' (those living on the south side of Henmore Brook) Vs 'The Uppard's' (those living on the north side). The game is played on the streets of the town and the goals are positioned 3 miles apart. The game starts at 2:00 p.m. when a ball is thrown into the centre of the town and then the mayhem begins. The rules are pretty straightforward, you are not permitted to kill anyone or make use of a motorvehicle to carry the ball. Its a very good natured event but its not an event for the faint hearted. Good luck from Todd@DoctorDanger.com

Ashbourne Shrovetide football (1971/72)?

Rare footage from Ashbourne Shrovetide football game.

Ashbourne Royal Shrovetide Football Wed 18th feb 2015

Ashbourne Royal Shrovetide Football Wed 18th feb 2015

ASHBOURNE ROYAL SHROVETIDE 2016 - COMPTON LOOSE PLAY

Fast open play down the street in Ashbourne on the first day of play of Shrovetide 2016.

2017.02.28 Royal Shrovetide Football Tues Vid 2.

A sea of faces as the heat of the hug rises! Heave... Heave...!

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