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Last Updated: Thursday, 22 February 2007, 11:06 GMT
Tribute to Shrovetide death man
David Johnson at Shrovetide Football in Ashbourne
Mr Johnson played the Shrovetide football game for 20 years
The family of a 51-year-old Derbyshire man who died after a day-long Shrovetide football game have paid tribute to the "keen sportsman".

David Johnson, of Little Eaton, was found collapsed in Ashbourne, still wearing his shin pads and boots, on Tuesday evening.

He was taken to Derbyshire Royal Infirmary where he was pronounced dead.

His second cousin Andrew Adams said Mr Johnson had taken part in the "mass football" game for the past 20 years.

"It was a terrible shock. He was a super lad - a good 'clean-living' man who loved his sport," said Mr Adams.

"He played cricket and those lads got him playing Shrovetide football."

Rough and tumble

He said Shrovetide football was "a rough and tumble game and a young man's game" but added Mr Johnson loved to participate.

A minute's silence was held before the ball was turned up on Wednesday for the final day of the two-day Ashbourne Shrovetide Football game.

The aim of the Shrovetide game, which dates back to the 12th Century, is for the two teams to "goal" a ball by touching it three times against the opposition's post.

Hundreds of people take part in the game that involves scrums pushing through the town's streets.

Mr Johnson's death is not being treated as suspicious.

Man dies at Shrovetide football
21 Feb 07 |  Derbyshire


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