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  1. ITV Report

Police urge people to stay safe during Uppies and Downies

Police are asking anyone taking part in this weekend’s Uppies and Downies to stay safe.

Crowds are expected to gather in Workington, in west Cumbria, to watch the first game in this year's tournament.

Credit: ITV

Parents are being urged to speak to their children who may be attending, and players and on-lookers are asked to be careful near the river.

Extra officers will be on-hand to ensure the event runs smoothly.

“While the vast majority of people who take part in Uppies and Downies do so in a positive spirit, the police will not accept people using the event as an excuse to commit criminal damage and behave in an antisocial manner.”

– Inspector Rachel Gale

The traditional game, based on Medieval football, has been played for generations and sees the town split into two teams to battle it out to be named champions.

To win, Downies must hail the ball on the dockside while Uppies have to hail it at Workington Hall in Curwen Park.

The Uppies won last year’s match after a historic hat-trick by Nathan Askew.

The game is set to kick-off around 6:30pm tonight.