The Great Foot-Ball Match on the Field of Carterhaugh and the Birth of Rugby
By Ian Landles, Hugh Hornby, Billy Gillies
Foreword by Richard Buccleuch
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For anyone interested the true origins of the game of rugby in the centuries-old mass ba’ games of the Scottish Borders and the North of England – still alive and kicking to this day – here are tales wonderfully told by historians of the game. Historic images ant texts, alongside contemporary photography, tell a story two centuries in the making.
On December 4, 1815, 750 ba’ players came together in a mighty contest on the field of Carterhaugh, near Selkirk in the Scottish Borders, for what was advertised as ‘a Great Foot-Ball Match’. On December 4, 2015, two bands of dedicated ba’ players descended on Carterhaugh to celebrate the bicentenary of the match by joining battle in another no-holds-barred contest.
For anyone interested the true origins of the game of rugby in the centuries-old mass ba’ games of the Scottish Borders and the North of England – still alive and kicking to this day – here are tales wonderfully told by historians of the game.
Cracked crowns, furious duckings, acts of never-to-be-forgotten heroism and unforgivable betrayal – Ian Landles relives the dramas of the original 1815 Carterhaugh Ba’ match, recalls Walter Scott’s pivotal role in organising it, and in the process rewrites the early history of rugby. The late Hugh Hornby describes the enduring appeal of mass football games today.
Billy Gillies explains why the Border ba’ game is absolutely not just a game but a serious business, and gives a blow-by-blow account of the 2015 re-enactment.
Historic images, verses and letters, alongside photographs by leading Scottish photographers, tell a story that has waited two centuries to be told.