The Bourton River football match returns this bank holiday

One of the most unusual traditions of the Cotswolds returns this holiday.

The annual river football match takes place in Bourton on Monday, with two teams set to battle it out ankle-deep in the River Windrush.

Bourton Rovers first team will take on the reserves in a 30-minute five-a-side clash, which kicks off at 11.15am.

The club’s head of football, Jack Galpin, said: “The game is of huge importance to the club, not only because of the tradition and history of the event, but also because of the excellent publicity he gives us locally.

“It’s an event that you hear about and want to attend and giving the guys at the club a chance to play there is so much fun.

“It brings the whole club together, the village supports it and overall it’s just a brilliant way to show the club locally and across the world.”

It’s unclear how the idea of ​​playing a game of football in a river originated, but the tradition is said to have been going strong for around 100 years.

The game regularly draws large crowds and fans are advised to wear raincoats if they plan to stand near the side of the “pitch”.

Various events and games will take place at the club from 9am on Monday, giving visitors a chance to win prizes.

All money raised will go to Bourton Rovers for pitch development and other improvements.

(Ben Birchall/PA)

Last year’s game saw hundreds of spectators line the banks of the river that runs through Bourton to enjoy the town’s unique tradition.

The 2021 match ended 1-1 after Clarets went 1-0 at halftime

The Blues equalized at the final whistle with a contested penalty which resulted in a red card for a Bordeaux player.

Match organizer Matt Winter, who scored the opening goal, said at the time: “The game was great fun and there was a good crowd.

“The game was a bit wet but not too cold and the pitch was a bit uneven.”

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