TV's Griff Rhys Jones plays Football In The River


Comedian Griff Rhys Jones is not renowned for his sporting prowess - but he proved doubters wrong with a game of football in the Cotswolds.

The TV presenter was undeterred by the rain and a waterlogged pitch as he took part in the annual Football In The River match in Bourton-on-the-Water, Gloucestershire.

Rhys Jones was filming for his new show, A Great British Adventure, which is due to air next year on ITV.

He came on as a first-half substitute for Bourton Rovers 1st XI as they took on the club's 2nd XI.

Rhys Jones, who was wearing the yellow No 10 shirt, bowed out to a round of applause midway through the second half.

Hundreds of spectators were undeterred by the weather as they donned waterproofs and huddled under umbrellas to watch the action from the river banks.

The annual bank holiday five-a-side clash takes place in the ankle-deep water of the River Windrush.

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".

Like last year, today's match ended 2-0 to the 1st XI, with a goal in each half to seal the win. The 2nd XI could have equalised when they were awarded a dubious penalty but it was saved by the goalkeeper.

2nd XI player Kevin Goodwill, who is normally the 1st XI goalkeeper, gifted the opposition two own- goals.

He said: "It wasn't great for me because I scored two own-goals, even though we outplayed them - it wasn't a fair result.

"It was a fun day and everyone gets wet."

Mr Goodwill, 28, who lives in Bourton-on-the-Water, said he had to mark Rhys Jones closely.

"He has a good pair of feet and I had to close him down," he said.

"He was here filming his new TV show. We've had a few famous people playing here over the years."