Atherstone 2020 Ball Game in pictures: Family fun for little girls to big boys

  Posted: 16.02.21 at 23:59 by Nick Hudson and James Smith

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With the 2021 Atherstone Ball Game regrettably, but understandably cancelled, we have had a look back at some of the images from last year's event.

This is one of four galleries we will be sharing from the 821st year.

Here are the words written back in 2020 by Nick Hudson:

The Bernards and Bickleys proved a dynamic pairing in bringing the best values of family togetherness to Atherstone Ball Game in 2020.

New chairman Rob Bernard promised the event would show its "good side" this year and his wife – secretary Janneen – brought with her a lifelong association of siblings schooled by mum Jillian Bickley in a Shrovetide tradition before they could barely walk.

And so the 821st ball game found mums and children being allowed to get their "kicks" while the grown-ups bided their time before piling back into the action.

Sticking the boot in: A girl shows how it's done

Chief steward Noel Johnston made sure all the family was catered for on an afternoon that should be remembered for all the positives rather than the sadness of an abrupt ending caused by a medical emergency.

Our last set of pictures hopefully capture the warmth of the occasion, with no room for images of shocked crowds filing home in the miserable rain that matched the gloom felt by organisers and ball-watchers alike around 4.30pm on Tuesday.

The drama surrounding the airlifting to hospital of stricken steward Martyn Burton may have left everyone around the event in sad contemplation but the community pulled together and Nub News believes the work of the 2020 committee should be soundly applauded and leaves Atherstone Ball Game in a much better place than it found itself before 'kick-off' on Shrove Tuesday.

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With the 2021 Atherstone Ball Game regrettably but understandably cancelled, we have had a look back at some of the images from last year's event....

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