Well unfortunately the forecast for Sunday 3rd May was right; the only aspect of the tournament that couldn’t be controlled or organised was the weather and boy did it rain!
The day began early, a small team of helpers setting the tournament up. With the rain still falling heavily, the outdoor activities were hastily re-arranged inside. A small army of helpers appeared to prep the huge amount of last minute donations for the tombola and raffle stall.
Meantime the tournament “athletes” were beginning to arrive in large numbers! Old friends and former team mates greeting each other amongst the aroma of deep heat!
The tournament kicked off in style. A special moment with the 20 teams gathered in a large circle out on the pitch with Gavin alongside his bothers and sisters Steve, Tommy, Carolann and Pauline whilst a few words were said before a piper played Flower of Scotland. A fitting opening for the inaugural GLL Tournament!
There were a few shaky moments when two players suffered injury in the first 5 minutes of play, but soon results were flooding into the scoreboard zone. Even the rain and soggy jaffas couldn’t dampen everyone’s spirits. The tournament was competitive, it was organised, it was disciplined and at times the football being played was of a high standard equaling that of the SPL (Sunday Pensioners League)!
After a couple of hours we had reached the final where Tommy Lanigan’s team, “The Spiders From Mars” took on captain Paul Sherry’s “Mary-Doll Juniors”. A crowd gathered to watch what was a very good final between two teams eager to win the first GLL Trophy. “The Spiders From Mars” eventually winning 3 v 1. Not only did they become the first team to have their name engraved on the GLL Trophy, they had the honour of being presented the cup by Lisbon Lion Bertie Auld.
The objective of the GLL Tournament had always been to provide a special day for Gavin and his family; a gathering together of special people, friends, family, work colleagues and team-mates from his long playing career (with a few celebrities to add the icing on the cake)! Each and every player and spectator played their part in achieving this and creating an incredible day.
Meantime the spectators, friends and family had achieved something else special inside. Tombola and raffle tickets had sold out, some amazing prizes were donated and won and a fantastic party atmosphere ensured fun was had by all. Along the way a staggering £3805 was raised for the GLL Campaign.
Already looking forward to the 2016 GLL Football & Family Day and seeing who’s name will be next on the cup!