Unveiled in 2008, this modern abstract statue depicts three players grappling for the ball during the Shrovetide football game. It was designed by Neil Hawksworth and is intended to create an attractive gateway into Ashbourne. There is parking at the statue and, across a small bridge, there is a a new paved path through the Henmore flood meadows into the Town.
The Shrovetide football game takes place annually on Shrove Tuesday and Ash Wednesday. It is played throughout the streets, alleyways, the park and in the River Henmore between “goals” three miles apart. Although the game is mainly one of “hug ball” where the ball is carried round in a large group of players, the ball is often in the air when it can be seen by spectators, and there are occasional breakaways.
See the entry on Shrovetide Football.