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The ball is thrown into the hug to start the annual Shrovetide football match (Reuters)

The ball is thrown into the hug to start the annual Shrovetide football match (Reuters)

Ashbourne Shrovetide Football: Hundreds chase after the ball in traditional game

Shop windows were boarded up and businesses closed early as the town of Ashbourne prepared for the annual Shrovetide football game. Hundreds of players joined in the traditional game as they climbed on trees and waded into rivers in an effort to retrieve the ball. The game, which has its roots in the 17th century, has very few rules - but its most important is not to murder opponents. The football will be played on Shrove Tuesday and Ash Wednesday.

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