Here are the top 7 quirky moments in Royal Shrovetide Football history:
- In a male dominated game, records show that 1943 was the first year in which the ball was goaled by a woman. Doris Mugglestone goaled for the Up’ards and Doris Sowter goaled for the Down’ards;
2. There have been quite a few attempts to ban the game. In 1349, Edward III tried to outlaw it as he claimed it interfered with his archery practice and in 1878 the game was briefly banned after a man drowned in the River Henmore;
3. The game was cancelled in 2001 due to an outbreak of foot and mouth disease;
4. Some famous people who have turned up the ball include two royals, Edward VIII in 1928 and Prince Charles 2003, footballer Sir Stanley Matthews in 1966, former Derby County manager Brian Clough in 1975 and ex-Derby County player Roy McFarland in 1982;
5. Shrovetide football gained its Royal title after Edward VIII, who was then Prince of Wales, opened the game in 1928 and it officially earned the designation Royal Shrovetide Football;
6. The origins of the game are unknown due to a fire which destroyed records, however, it is believed that the ‘ball’ was initially a head tossed into the crowd after an execution;
7. In 2015, the game ended with no goal as the ball went missing. Unfortunately, there was no way to replace the ball as they are specially made each year with cork chippings in order to float in the river.