1500 Children Involved in Bolton School Football Festival
Thursday, 30 April 2015
Bolton School’s Football Festival goes from strength to strength and this year saw 1500 children take part over the course of three separate match days spread throughout the week.
Match Day 1 saw Year 7 and 8 girls from local state and independent schools, some coming from as far away as Leeds and Liverpool, compete for the ISFA U13s’ Cup which was ultimately won by Turton School. Match Day 2 comprised a fun afternoon for over 600 local Year 3 and 4 girls and boys who played in mixed teams. Match Day 3 was a highly competitive 6-a-side tournament for teams of players from Years 5 and 6.
The competition for Year 5 and 6 children from local primary schools has been running for almost a decade now and has become so large that it is broken down into an A Team Tournament, a B Team Tournament and a Girls’ Tournament. With over 800 players and 1000 parents on the 16 acre campus, the event takes place over 16 pitches and is organised by Head Football Coach and former Bolton Wanderers’ goalkeeper, Mr Keith Branagan. Keith, delighted with how well this year’s event had gone, said: “It is always a spectacular sight with so many games going on at once and so many youngsters clearly having a great time. As ever, there has been some great football played over the last few days and very much in the right spirit. I am indebted to the Senior School boys who have helped run this event; without them it could not have happened. Year 7 and 8 boys acted as runners, reporting in all the scores and footballers from Years 11, 12 and 13 refereed the matches. One of our Year 11 lads recalled coming to the tournament himself when he was at primary school!”
This year’s winner of the A Team Competition was Horwich Parish, who finally overcame Masefield 3-2 in a penalty sudden death shoot-out after a tense 0-0 draw. The B Team final was also decided on a sudden death shoot-out with Eagley beating Horwich Parish 2-1 after a gripping 1-1 draw. This year’s winners of the Girls’ Competition was Holy Infant who ran out 2-0 winners against Johnson Fold in the final.
The event is organised as part of the Bolton Schools’ Sports Partnership work and Bolton School’s lead on development of primary school football in partnership with the Bolton Wanderers Community Trust.