This film is part of Free

Shrovetide Football Match

A football match with no teams or goals? Atherstone's traditional free-for-all has only one rule - killing is not allowed!

News 1957 1 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for Media Archive for Central England


From the moment Beryl Reid throws the ball from the window of the local bank to signal the start of the game the Atherstone football match appears to be a violent ruck far removed from the 'beautiful game'. Said to date from the 12th century this football match has no rules and no goals or even teams. The mob appear to be bringing down an entire building at one point. The winner is the person holding the ball at the end of the match. That's if they're still standing.