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Boden and Lomas to start Ashbourne Shrovetide football
Shrovetide Football. Photo: Richard Walker
Shrovetide balls are made of leather filled with cork

Jim Boden, from Cubley, and Frank Lomas, from Kniveton, will start Ashbourne's Shrovetide football games for 2011.

Mr Boden will turn up the ball for Tuesday's game. The 63-year-old is a former member of the game's organising committee.

Frank Lomas goaled the ball for the Up'ards in 1969 and will start Wednesday's game from Shaw Croft.

Both are said to be "delighted" to have been given the honour of turning up.

Shrovetide falls late in the calendar in 2011 and the games will take place on Tuesday, 8 March and Wednesday 9 March.

Each will be a guest of honour at the Shrovetide lunch in Ashbourne's Green Man before being escorted to the starting plinth to throw their ball to the waiting crowd of players at 1400 GMT.

The ball will become the property of the person who goals it. If the ball is not scored it will be returned to the turner-up.

Each year, the Shrovetide committee selects two people to turn up the balls.

Simon Spencer in 2009
The turner-up is escorted to the starting plinth to get the game underway

Often they are former players and many have scored the ball during the game's illustrious history.

Others are selected for their standing within the Ashbourne area and, occasionally, celebrities are requested to start the games, examples being Prince Charles in 2003 and Brian Clough in 1975.

Last year, the Down'ards claimed victory after Kevin Clarke goaled Tuesday's ball at Clifton to win the game.

The Up'ards believed they had won Wednesday's game when Dave 'Spanner' Spencer tapped the ball against the goal at Sturston Mill late in the day.

However, the Shrovetide committee ruled that the ball had been goaled after the strict 2200 GMT cut-off point.




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