Royal Shrovetide 'mystery' ball sells at auction
A ball used in a "legendary" Shrovetide football match in 1897 has been sold at auction.
The traditional Royal Shrovetide Football in Ashbourne, Derbyshire, sees two sides compete to move a ball to posts at two ends of the town.
However, it remains a "mystery" as to who actually "goaled" the ball in Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee year.
The ball had been in a private collection and fetched £3,800. It will be kept at the town's heritage centre.
The honour of goaling the 122-year-old ball was given to Mayfield villager James "Tug" Bradley, whose name is written on the ball along with the words "Britons never shall be slaves".
But there has been some debate over the accolade.
"Confusion still exists over who actually goaled it," said auctioneer Charles Hanson.
"The Ashbourne News of 1897 attributed [it] to Charles Hill, though this could have been a reporter's error. It all adds to the mystery of what is a remarkable historical item that's played its part in a legendary game."
The ball was secured by Shrovetide committee member Michael Betteridge, from Ashbourne, and funded by "very generous donations".
The lot also included a ball from 1970 and a programme from 1928 when the Prince of Wales, who later became Edward VIII, turned up the ball at the event.