VIDEO: ‘Scared and excited inside the hug’ at Shrovetide Football

University of Derby student Ross Barnett describes the moments inside 'the hug' as he videoed the start of the Royal Shrovetide Football game in Ashbourne

Last year, brave Ross Barnett videoed the opening moments of Ashbourne’s Shrovetide Football game by diving into the centre of the ‘hug’.

University of Derby student Ross attached a Go-Pro to his head to record the early stages of the game.

Ross, aged 19, from Market Harborough, said: “I was scared and excited at the same time. I managed to touch the ball briefly.

“It was terrifying to begin with, it felt like a massive rugby scrum. My adrenalin was pumping, I was stuck at the bottom of a 50-man pile-on, struggling to breath.

“I heard a man screaming out in pain, his leg was trapped on a kerb. But, everyone was respectful and when someone said ‘back-off’ everyone moved away.

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“With all the pressure of the people against me, I thought I was going to break my leg, but I didn’t and I survived!”

Meanwhile, hundreds of people braved the freezing weather to watch the annual game which was started by Willie Tucker.

Rita Spencer, aged 42, from Ashbourne, said: “I’m an Up’ard, but honestly, I’m either way, I’ve enjoyed watching this as I’ve grown up. I love watching it and it’s a nice tradition. Let’s hope it does keep going on forever and ever.”

Carol Allsobowk, aged 50, an ‘Up’ard’ from Ashbourne, said: “It’s a brilliant tradition, I have grown up with it and I hope it continues for many years to come.”