Every Shrove Tuesday, the little peaceful Warwickshire town of Atherstone transforms into what looks more like a warzone - with all the shops in the main highstreet being boarded up. Then a crowd gathers in the centre of the town outside Barclays Bank and awaits 3pm for a large ball to be chucked from its upstairs window into the feisty crowd below... a scene of madness ensues as everyone scrambles for the selection of ribbons on the ball, that have monetary value.
Once the ribbons have been attained by the folks below, the ball game takes a nice and steady pace, where the ball gets kicked up and down the highstreet for a bit of time - allowing children and even babies the chance to touch the ball. But then about 4:30pm everything changes.
With just 30 minutes left of the once peaceful game, all hell breaks loose and it's pretty much every man for himself as the pleasant crowd turns into a wild pack of boars, scrambling, jumping, stomping and even hitting each other to gain possession of the ball. And if they're holding the ball at the 5pm klaxon then they're the winner. I must add that this final bit however, becomes pretty violent on occasions.
Atherstone Ball Game 2014 Winner
Audio Coverage of Atherstone Ball Game 2014
BBC Coventry & Warwickshire: The White Horse Interview
BBC Coventry & Warwickshire: Interview with David Evans
BBC Coventry & Warwickshire: Pie & Mash Shop Owner
BBC Coventry & Warwickshire: News Segment
BBC Coventry & Warwickshire: Listeners Text
BBC Coventry & Warwickshire: The Match Has Started
BBC Coventry & Warwickshire: Interview With Noel Johnson
BBC Coventry & Warwickshire: 6 Minutes To Go
BBC Coventry & Warwickshire: Interview with winner, Sean Glenn
Pictures of Atherstone Ball Game 2014