Crowds pack into the brook in Ashbourne (Picture: Getty)
One day a year, the men of Ashbourne in Derbyshire allow themselves to go completely berserk over a special ball.
While other people might prefer to flip pancakes, this Purge-like display is the small market town’s unique way of marking Shrove Tuesday.
It’s believed they have been battering each other in the annual Royal Shrovetide Football match since 1667.
The two clashing teams are called the Up’ards and the Down’ards, and the players are decided by which side of a brook that bisects the town they were born on.
This year, they found themselves diving into the aforementioned brook in an effort to claim control of the ball, which was decorated with a crown, a tractor and the date.
The participants were not afraid to get wet (Picture: Paul Ellis/AFP via Getty Images)
A crown denotes the ‘royal’ nature of the Royal Shrovetide Football Match (Picture: Paul Ellis/AFP via Getty Images)
The ball is flung over the crowd to begin the game (Picture: Tom Maddick SWNS)
Plenty of spectators are also drawn to the event (Picture Paul Ellis/AFP via Getty Images)
Things got intense quite quickly (Picture: Tom Maddick/SWNS)
The ball disappears into the throng of the crowd (Picture: Sportimage)
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