Boxing Day may mean sleeping off the excesses of Christmas to many, but not for a bunch of fundraisers in Scarborough.
The hardy crew took to the sands of Scarborough yesterday beneath a stunning sky to drum up cash for the Fishermen & Firemen’s Charity Fund with a game of football.
Many of the players were members of the Scarborough fishing community.
Reputed to be the town’s oldest surviving custom, The Fishermen & Firemen’s Boxing Day football match was originally held on Christmas Day but changed to its current spot in the calender in 1898. Firemen were the stokers from the steam trawlers.
Written reports exist from 1893 of the Fishermen & Firemen’s Football match.
Still played on Boxing Day, on the South Bay Beach, the football match is a major fundraiser for the Fishermen & Firemen’s Charity Fund, which provides much-needed help for the elderly and infirm during the winter months.
The charity was originally started to help the widows and orphans of the five Scarborough fishermen drowned at sea aboard the Evelyn and Maud.
By 1900 the Evelyn and Maud Fund became the Fishermen and Firemen’s Charity Fund and continues to help people.