The sun shone on the 30th anniversary of the Aylsham Football Club annual tournament last weekend.
The tournament, which has become one of the biggest youth football events in the county, saw more than 170 teams descend on Youngs Park for the two days, along with many thousands of spectators.
It is the main fundraiser for the club and it was clear to see that this was a record year, something that Juliet Waller, speaking on behalf of the tournament committee was delighted about. She said: “All of the revenue will be ploughed back into equipment and improving provisions for our players and managers but it’s not all about that, our event is also about bringing our local community together.”
As it was the 30th anniversary, there was a commemorative medal given to all Aylsham youngsters who took part in the event, a gesture funded by the adult section of the club. There was also a new winners stand which provided a fantastic backdrop for photographs kindly donated, supplied and built by David Ashworth along with MR & Mrs Hepworth.
The large-scale event took months of planning with one of the biggest tasks being keeping traffic flowing and cars parked quickly. This was possible thanks to a field being handed over for the day by William Youngs.
Volunteers play a big part in making the event a success and that was something Juliet was keen to acknowledge. “Thank you to our club volunteers and those who kindly gave up their time from the local community to help. We had in excess of 60 volunteers each day.”
She continued: “We would like to thank all our players, managers and referees who made both days really enjoyable and produced some high quality football games. There are too many sponsors to thank individually but I would like to place my sincere thanks to each and every one of them.”
Chairman of the youth football section Gus Bates echoed that, saying: “The atmosphere at Young’s Park was amazing with the noise of children having fun and enjoying themselves with many smiles on display. None of this would have been possible without the army of volunteers from all across our community who gave up so much of their time to make sure the tournament ran so smoothly. A special thanks goes to the tournament committee who worked tirelessly to make the weekend such a huge success.”
Next year’s tournament will be on June 2 and 3.
Aylsham player of the tournament (Hazel Newstead Memorial Trophy):
Saturday – Abbie Durrand
Sunday – Jasmin Parkin
Age Group Winners:
U9s Gorleston Rangers
U11s Aylsham Albion
U12s Firside Flames
U13s Norwich United
U15s Firside Blues
U11 Girls Bure Valley Kittens
U12s Girls Sprowston
U14s Girls North Walsham Angels
U15s Girls Kirkley & Pakefield
PICTURES: HSR PHOTOGRAPHY & JEFFREY LAKE