Sunday 21 January 2018

River footballers go with the flow

Players take part in the Football in the River match in Bourton-on-the-Water, Gloucestershire
Players take part in the Football in the River match in Bourton-on-the-Water, Gloucestershire

Football matches are normally called off if the pitch is too waterlogged - except in the Cotswolds.

Two teams braved the freezing water to take part in the annual Football in the River match in Bourton-on-the-Water, Gloucestershire.

The two teams - Bourton Rovers 2nd XI and Bourton Rovers 1st XI - took part in the 30 minute match.

Hundreds of spectators gathered on the river banks to watch the Bank Holiday Monday clash.

The annual eight-a-side football match takes place in the ankle-deep water of the River Windrush - and has a history that dates back a century.

It is not entirely clear how the idea of playing a football match in a river first got started, but the tradition has reportedly been going strong for around 100 years.

The match, which raises funds for Bourton Rovers Football Club, regularly draws large crowds to watch - and fans are advised to wear waterproofs if they plan on standing close to the side of the 'pitch'.

The match ended 1-1 after the 2nd XI scored a controversial last minute penalty.

Duncan Habbitts, who plays for the 1st XI, said his team had been robbed.

He said: "It was very competitive this year and very wet. I reckon it was never a penalty. If you see on the cameras and watch it, it was never a penalty. We were robbed, the referee robbed us."

Press Association

Promoted Links

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Promoted Links

Editors Choice

Also in World News