Boxing Day 2019 in Scarborough - The fishermen secure 5-1 victory

Hundreds of Scarborough residents wrapped up warm and headed to South Bay on Boxing Day to take in the town’s quirky traditional activities.

By Corinne Macdonald
Friday, 27th December 2019, 1:08 pm
Updated Friday, 27th December 2019, 1:09 pm

The day began with the Fishermen v Firemen charity football match, now in its 126th year, to raise money for the Fishermen & Firemen’s Charity Fund which nowadays provides help for the elderly and infirm during the winter.

The Comic Band lead the players from town down Eastborough to the Foreshore.

Mayor Hazel Lynskey then started the match, a tradition which first started in 1908.

Both teams before the match with Mayor Hazel Lynskey. Picture by Richard Ponter

The only rule in the game is that the players’ top hats must stay on - if a player loses their hat the other team is awarded a free kick.

The fishermen, dressed in white, secured a 5-1 victory against the firemen in red.

Cricket legend Dickie Bird presented the winning team with the trophy, as he has done for the past few years.

After the match, first time players were treated to a dunk in the sea.

Two teams battle it out in the raft race. Picture by Richard Ponter.

Further funds were also raised through the mile of pennies, from the lifeboat house along the Foreshore, and the crazy raft race.

Organiser Liz Blades said: “On the whole it went well, there was the usual crowds there.

“A good time was had by all, it was a nice day for everyone and the rain held off which was a bit of a worry.

“We’d like to thank everyone who put money in the buckets and the mile of pennies.”

The raft race took place in the harbour after the football.

Teams were pelted with flour and eggs by both the spectators and each other as they got ready on the slipway.

There were a few raft casualties early on in the race with one vessel capsizing.

Liz said: “Everyone came out in force again, all our locals were very generous.”

Scarborough’s Boxing Day football match started in 1893 to raise money for the children of five Scarborough fishermen who drowned at sea aboard the Evelyn and Maud.

The very first match was held on Christmas Day at the Ebor Football Ground at the top of Prospect Road.