Saturday 18th May saw the fourth running of The George Heath Memorial Trophy – a football tournament of 27 teams, held on the King George Playing Fields.
A lot was going on with four pitches in operation for the group stages slowly being whittled down to the final two. Some “interesting” team names were in play and a real spirit of fun was in evidence too. The Foundation was very lucky to once again have Cestrian Bars in attendance with their new horse box pub! We were also very grateful to have a medical service being provided by local company Jigsaw Medical – of course we were hoping that they wouldn’t be needed! Fortunately the weather was very kind – just a nice temperature for playing.
Refreshments were provided by a fantastic army of Tarvin ladies who took charge of providing bacon and sausage sandwiches, tea, coffee, and later in the day..BURGERS!.
Our teams had obviously learned from last year’s tournament and most had at least seven players (to allow for resting of all team members). The standard of play was, at times, “feisty” and made interesting watching – but it was for the most part played in the spirit that we had hoped for! Certainly our referees team of visiting officials from Sheffield were reasonably happy with the teams’ behaviour (although the Foundation did benefit from a few fines for yellow cards!) Our Pitch Managers (Lucy Trent, Jess Bull, Bruce Lister, Louise and John Brunsdon) kept things flowing wonderfully – thank you!
The last match of the competition saw “Class on Grass ” led by Jack Berman take on Upton FC led by Adam Bedford – Class on Grass proving very worthy of their name, taking home the trophy!
Of course, we had to have a golden boot champion goal scorer – and this year the honour went to Joe Williams from “Just Larkin Around” – Joe scored 10 goals in the day, but it was a close contest – Jason Lampkin from “Let’s Get Messi” scoring 8….in fact there were 87 different goal scorers on the day scoring a total of 187 goals!
We also had a participation award for the team who conceded the most goals in the group stages – this year, this award was given to “NatSKA Bandits” – led by Cliff “Chief” Pritchard….despite playing an absolute blinder in goal and cheering and shouting the loudest through the day, ultimately the team let in the most goals – but they definitely played the whole day with the best spirit!
In the evening, we switched venue to the Community Centre where once again Cestrian Bars provided excellent refreshments! We were superbly entertained by “Muddy Elephant” a local band comprising Sam Passey, Tom Smeatham, Andy “The Animal” (drummer) and George – if you missed the evening event , then you missed a massive treat – these guys are definitely ones to watch – a superb choice and selection of music (including some of their own tracks which have featured on none other than “This Morning”)
Absolutely gorgeous food was served by “The Sticky Sausage Company”– the smell of which was driving our visitors mad for a little while before we had asked for it to be served – really, really delicious choice of Crispy Panko chicken served with Katsu Sauce and Coconut rice, Pulled Beef Brisket Lasagne served with mozarella, pesto and garlic bread or the equally gorgeous vegetarian option of Massaman Veggie curry served with chick peas, spinach and butternut squash – we can’t wait to have another event that we can invite them to!
The feedback from our many visitors was how much they had enjoyed everything – and that the community centre looked amazing too (with huge thanks to CSP AV who provided fantastic atmospheric lighting )!
At the end of the evening, when all the dust had settled, and all the counting had been done, we had raised over £2,000 for the Foundation, including a significant donation from Cestrian Bars.
We plan to repeat the tournament again next year, and look forward to seeing all the players and teams again! Thank you for playing, visiting or celebrating with us.