After checking the nationals the morning there was a disappointing lack of Shrovetide football (infact there was a disappointing lack of Shrovetide anything). So here is a dose of some hardcore Shrovetide football from Atherstone, Warwickshire.
I would usually head to Ashbourne as I'm from the Derby area, but Atherstone is on my doorstep and in recent years although it's a great day, Ashbourne become really popular.
So I felt it was time for a change. And what a change. The great thing about Atherstone is the accessibility to the "front line" so to speak. As you will see from the pictures, if your brave enough you can get right in the mix.
Usually I come home with a ding or two on my camera and a feeling of disappointment at not being able to get close enough to the action even on a long lens. Not this time, I got mega close, close enough for a wide angle and not a mark on my gear. Actually it seemed the closer I got the to the action, the less I got roughed up. The only casualty I saw was a guy with a camera who was not paying any attention in front of the ball and got a whack in the face. A proper wake up call.
And fair play to the competitors they even took the time out to let the little kids have a kick of the ball.
So all in all pretty good fun and I hope you enjoyed them. Next year will be a tough decision between Ashbourne and Atherstone.
Matt Stewart Photos
I've been a photographer for quite a long time now. So hopefully I have something to say about it.