24 hours 5 a side for Huw : a very special day (and night)
Some days are special and some are very special. All the days involving Huw’s friends are always very special and the 24 hours football tournaments were no exception. There will be other days when friends and family do fantastic things, but this Saturday & Sunday was all about the 24hrs football. The brainchild of Sam Briggs involved 220 players and a similar numbers of visitors / spectators during the 24 hours. It was not lost on Huw’s friends that this was a day he would have revelled in. Alongside that sadness, we saw hundreds of people remembering Huw, loving Huw, having a good time, and raising over £2000 for his charity trust 🙂
There was a perfect mix of fun, keen competition, emotion, reminiscing, skill, fund raising and the fulfillment of taking part. It was great to see lots of familiar faces as well as meeting new people or getting to know previous acquantances a bit better – I think everyone thought that.
The day kicked off with a busy 45 minutes setting up with the assistance of Mr Galloway the caretaker to whom we owe our thanks. The year 10 girls started the day – fully entering into the spirit of the event, with some good football and some good laughs. The final being contested by Daniella Bailey’s team and Kate Benn’s team (which included Carys.) But it was Daniella’s team who were in the pink as they won a keenly contested final. The pictures below mainly cover the year 10 girls but more will be added when we get pictures from the other competitions soon. There were lots of blue number 2s on the pitch, which was one of a number of moving sights in the day.
Fortunately there was only one injury of concern in the whole event – Tara Atkinson spraining her ankle the day before a full rehearsal for a dance event – Tara we hope it gets better in time for the July performances.
The years 5 and 6 competition included 8 teams and the final was contested by Upperthong 2 and Netherthong, with the Netherthong running out deserved winners.
A further 8 teams took part in the years 7 and 8 competition with Regan Booty’s team beating Alfie Higgins outfit in the final.
It was great to see younger age groups doing so well and was a nice reminder of when Huw and the other 15 year olds were starting out several years ago.
As with all the competitions, the year 10 tournament included a fantastic mix of those just wanting to be part of it and having fun, and some great football. The final was a genuinely impressive game in which Sam Briggs team narrowly beat strong George Richardson’s side.
The Vets competition took place during the night, but was watched by loads of people – the teachers and dads attracting interest – perhaps more for the curiosity value than the quality of the football 🙂 But there was some good quality football from Kev’s team and other players like Phil Clapham, Russ Briggs and Jon Battye. There were also signs of ability in other players that has somehow got watered down in the mist of time 🙂 There was also an amusing and good natured competitive edge from great characters such as Jim Gardner and Johnny Lancaster. And of course there was plenty of good natured banter. Dave Brennan was delighted to turn in a good performance and even more delighted to be chastised infront of his wife Monique for not performing up to his usual Wednesday night standard ha ha! And Craig was delighted that we lied to Anne when she turned up and said he had scored 2 hat tricks already – Craig you owe us one for that! It also became clear that Huw didn’t get his football talents from me, although I did have the pleasure of scoring a cracking goal at the end of one of the matches, which was met by a moving applause from the spectators which to be honest sent a shiver down my spine – to think I could score a goal that Huw would have been proud of – and to feel the support for our family from Huw’s friends. The Vets competition was deservedly won by Kev Girdlestone’s well drilled outfit, who beat an impressive Russ Briggs team in the final.
An intriguing final fixture saw the vets winners beat the year 10 winners although it could have been different if it weren’t for injury niggles to 2 of the year 10 stars.
The refreshements stall was superb. The masses of home made cakes, sandwiches etc, were just perfect. The fact that they were lovingly made by the hands of those who loved Huw and just as fittingly by those who hadn’t met Huw but were moved to contribute. They were appreciated by all who ate them and every sale contributed to helping brain injured people and making it a perfect day.
The whole day was perfect in so many ways: it was initiated and overseen by Huw’s friends with creativity, energy and love; it was a wonderful community event full of friendship, support and companionship. It was a show of love and devotion for the very boy who would have been in his element on the pitch and a good customer of the refreshments stall! It was a particular pleasure of mine to talk to Huw’s friends and see once again how they loved their great friend, and to see just what meaningful friendships he had with the best friends he could have wished for. Carys, Jenny and I are lucky now to share that friendship in some way with a group of teenagers to be proud of. Their friend Huw is one to cherish; an entertainer and a caring young man.
Jenny says “Thank you to everyone for their support at the football. I know that Huw is proud and smiling about everything you have done for him and the Trust this weekend. And just as important……..you have all had a great time and ate loads!!! Thanks again and hope you got some sleep. Much love. Jen xxx”
We want to say a big thank you to Sam Briggs and all his family for setting this up and for doing so much on the day. Thank you also to Ella’s Dad for taking photos which we’ll put on Facebook etc soon, to Ian Scott and Skelmanthorpe JFC for extremely generous donations and to the adults who were there as first aiders and in a welfare role. We are grateful to all the Mums and girls (and some lads maybe) for providing fantastic food, the school for free use of the facilities, Cobwood Engravers for the Trophies and medals, the parents for supervising the younger age groups, the referees and most of all everyone who played wether they won, lost or drew. On this occassion the taking part and the sense of common purpose was what counted most.
Such was the success of the event that there were calls for a repeat next year. If people still want to do that when they have caught up with some sleep it is something we should think in due course 🙂
Finally, there are 15 items of lost property, I have washed them and I’m gonna take it to the Sports Hall lost property on Thursday evening – I told them and they’re expecting it. It consists of: Dark blue Abercrombie 1974 hoodie; Red Hepworth United Breda Cup Netherlands 2011 hoodie with the initials HS; Hollister girls shorts; Dark blue Kirkless “Move it 2007” hoodie; Red Next hoodie; Blue Nike lads shorts; Size 8 ½ Reebok white trainers; Size 1 white Addidas trainers; 2 pairs of shinnies; 3 drinks bottles; and pair of Holmfirth High School footie / hockey socks. Oh and an Everton ‘Fellaini’ shirt – I’ll give it to Carys to pass on to Liam 🙂 Not too bad I suppose…..15 items from 225 players!