Shrove Tuesday football match saw hundreds of people gather in Alnwick

The ancient tradition was upheld another year as the annual Alnwick Shrovetide football match took place on Shrove Tuesday.
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St Michael’s took the bragging rights with a 2-1 win over St Paul’s on a bright afternoon at The Pastures.

Thomas Harker, 14, a pupil at Duchess’s High School, scored a brace of ‘hales’ to secure the win.

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It ended with a mad dash to try and get the match ball to the other side of the River Aln, with Shrovetide veteran Steve Temple winning for the twelfth time.

Match action in the shadow of Alnwick Castle.Match action in the shadow of Alnwick Castle.
Match action in the shadow of Alnwick Castle.

Steve said: “It’s a great tradition for the local community. It’s good for the whole town to talk about it.

"Everybody can join in, even if you can’t play football of you’re not interested, come down and have a kick.”

The match has been going on since 1762, when it was first recorded, and this was the 193rd game played since 1828.

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The fixture is one of only five Shrove Tuesday games still in existence but it’s a tradition that is as popular as ever.

The game has only a few rules with the goals decorated with greenery and standing about 400 yards apart. The winner is the first to score two ‘hales’ and doesn’t end until one of the teams achieves them.

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