Players wade in to raise funds

Bourton Rovers 1st and 2nd teams battle it out in the annual Football In The River match at Bourton-in-the-Water, Gloucestershire. (PA)

Bourton Rovers 2nd XI team push forward with the ball as Bourton Rovers XI 1st and 2nd teams battle it out in the annual Football In The River match at Bourton-in-the-Water, Gloucestershire

First published in National News © by

Football matches are normally called off if the pitch is waterlogged - except in the Cotswolds.

Two teams braved the freezing water today to take part in the annual Football In The River match in Bourton-on-the-Water, Gloucestershire.

The 30-minute game was played out between Bourton Rovers 2nd XI and Bourton Rovers 1st XI.

Hundreds of spectators were not put off by the heavy rain as they donned waterproofs and huddled under waterproofs to watch the action from the river banks.

The annual Bank Holiday five-a-side clash takes place in the ankle-deep water of the River Windrush.

It is not entirely clear how the idea of playing a football match in a river first arose, but the tradition has reportedly been going strong for around 100 years.

The match, which raises funds for Bourton Rovers Football Club, regularly draws large crowds - and fans are advised to wear waterproofs if they plan to stand close to the side of the "pitch".

Today's match ended 2-0 to the 1st XI, with two second half goals sealing a win, despite having a player sent off in the dying minutes of the game.


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