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Tuesday, 16 September 2014

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Barrow football event in memory of BAE Systems shipyard graduate

THE Maracana it was not, and Neymar and Messi weren’t on the pitch – but amateur footballers treated the crowds to exciting and good spirited matches at a Barrow charity World Cup-themed tournament.

Ahead of the world’s greatest sporting occasion kicking off next week, employees from Barrow’s BAE Systems sported the colours of the 32 nations competing in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

Graduates and trainees from BAE organised the popular annual six-a-side event and family fun day at Hawcoat Park Sports and Social Club on Saturday and raised more than £3,000 for Help for Heroes.

The knock-out competition saw Colombia – a side of Holker Old Boys players – face Japan – players from Askam United – in a tough-tackling and pacy final.

Colombia claimed a 1-0 victory with a goal in the final minute from John Paul Stanway. The 19-year-old was awarded man-of-the-match.

For those teams not making it through to the last 16 – including England, who finished third in Group D – there was the chance to battle it out for the consolation shield. This was won by Argentina who beat Nigeria 2-0.

Project lead for the event, Ben Mooney, thanked the teams, supporters and organisers. The 22-year-old project management trainee said the day had been a great success.

Colombia captain Christian Sloan lifted a replica of the World Cup for the winning team.

This year BAE Systems also donated a new trophy for the winners which remains in house at the company.

The glass football trophy is in memory of the late BAE graduate, Lewis Antoniou, who died last year. The 24-year-old had been part of the team who organised the 2013 football tournament.

Mr Antoniou’s mother, Moira Antoniou, presented the trophy.

Mrs Antoniou, who attended the event with her family, said: “This is a wonderful idea and I’m really, really touched.

“The trophy is a really lovely thing which will keep Lewis’s memory alive. We are very appreciative to BAE.”

 

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