BANK holiday Monday saw the usually tranquil River Windrush taken over by two teams of lively football players, battling it out for victory in the annual Bourton-on-the-Water Football in the river match.

Transforming the tranquil grassy banks of the river, hundreds of spectators gathered once again to watch two six a side teams braving the chilly waters.

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”.

Jack Galpin, who refereed the game dressed as a woman, said: “It was a really good game. It was a really good turnout and excellent crowd. Roll on next year. I might have a game next year.”

The match often draws crowds of around 2,000 people, sometimes more when it's hot weather. The event coincides with the Bourton Rovers fete which takes place on the village green next to the river. The fete has stalls and games for children as well as do duck racing in the river from 10am until the river football starts.

It was a close game, but in the end Bourton Rovers’ second team triumphed over Bourton Rovers’ first team 3-2, in an exciting game.