One of the greatest honours for any Ashbournian is being invited to herald the official start to the fabulous annual Ashbourne Royal Shrovetide Football Game.
The match is a medieval tradition played each Shrovetide Tuesday and again on Ash Wednesday in the town of Ashbourne and has very few rules with goals which are three miles apart.
Last year’s honour was bestowed upon Dr Dallas Burston. To commemorate the momentous occasion Dr Burston has commissioned a sculpture to capture the action of the day.
The sculpture has been inspired by the spirit of the game itself and depicts the struggle of hands, desperate to grasp the ball as it emerges from the cold water. The art work of finest carved walnut is inlaid with detailed marquetry.
A memory box, taking the form of a plinth, will support the sculpture and its art work will depict key moments from the 2017 game including the “turning up” of the ball to the sole match goal scored by the Up’Ards. Prominent players and dignitaries will be portrayed in micro-marquetry throughout the design and all will be set within a winter tree-scape.