“Championes, championes, ole ole ole ole!” This was the song that rang out through the clubhouse at Champion Hill stadium, the home of Dulwich Hamlet FC. It was official, FBB ALL STARS had lifted the inaugural FBB Community Cup.
Celebrities and stars from across the world of football, music and media had come down to show FBB their support and participate in the showcase matches, and they were clearly impressed with our work.
Rudimental’s Locksmith said: “I think FBB is an amazing cause.When you’re young you feel like you’re alone and you haven’t got a voice. If you’re surrounded by positive adults who encourage you and share the same interests as you – whether that be football, music or movies – you can aspire to be like those adults.”
In true FBB fashion, the day began with a Youth Tournament. With over 20 teams playing in 4 tournament categories, the 200+ young people participating flooded the field.
The range of young people at the event was incredible, a beautiful mix of local community teams and boys and girls teams from across our FBB Schools projects. The tournament was played at a frantic intensity and after 3 long hours, the winners had been decided. In the clubhouse, participants were treated to pizza and the first of many celebrations began. Throughout the tournament, the young people proved themselves to be true ambassadors of FBB and upheld the FBB values of Teamwork, Resilience and Leadership.
As the young people commended one another, our corporate tournament got underway. Eight teams of FBB corporate partners and local businesses took to the pitch to raise money for our young people’s programmes. The final went right down to the wire with a nail-biting penalty shootout between our partners Football Radar and Sports Interactive. Football Radar stepped up to put away the penalty to win them the match… and buried it. Football Radar was crowned the first winners of the FBB Community Cup Corporate Tournament.
Alongside the action on the pitch, young people and adults alike were busy getting involved in the activities around the stadium. From time trials to the crossbar challenge the crowd showed off their own footballing wizardry.
After the tournament had concluded, it was time for the main events to begin. In our first showcase match, an OXBRIDGE XI took on LONDON CALLING FC (a mixed team comprising of local London sides Boiler Room Ladies FC and Wonderkid Ladies FC). How better to continue an already historic event in FBB history than to add to the history books with the introduction of the first ever OXBRIDGE XI women’s team. Both universities were united by FBB Volunteer Ceylon Hickman, who came up with the idea and worked tirelessly to make it happen. The match was a fantastic and thrilling encounter which captured the talent, ability and passion for the game that exists at grassroots level in Women’s football. In the end, Oxbridge XI’s regular 11 a-side experience proved too strong for London Calling, despite an epic woman of the match performance from Trish in goal for London Calling.
The final game of the day pitted the talents of FBB ALL STARS against COPA90 & FRIENDS.
The men’s showcase match brought together a wide range of celebrities from the football, music and media industries, giving them the chance to join the FBB Family and put on an entertaining match. Musicians such as Rudimental, Louis Rei from WSTRN & Will Heard joined ex-premier league footballers Leon Cort and Jamie Lawrence, Journalists such as Owen Gibson & Leon Mann, YouTubers Poet, Vuj & Stevo The Madman just to name a few!
The entire game was played out with a backdrop of captivating commentary by special guest presenter Rachael Downie, supported by FBB’s Head of Comms Pez and by FBB TV presenter Debra, whose powerful voice and ability to generate hype made her the star of the show as the game wore on. Debra started out on our Chestnut Grove FBB Schools programme, and has since become a key member of the FBB Youth Voices programme as well as the Youth Council – and her confidence and maturity were evident as she kept the crowd on their feet. Another star of the showcase game was the referee Jawahir JJ Roble, a qualified referee and long-time FBB Volunteer who set up the first ever FBB women’s football programmes back at the end of 2014. She refereed the showcase match with impressive authority, putting ex-premier league players in their place! The watching media were clearly impressed as the next day, the Telegraph called JJ “The Most Remarkable Referee in England”.
At the close of the showcase games, the event moved indoors and up to the clubhouse for an energising and mobilising community celebration with players, influencers and local people gathered together to relive the game and prepare their tickets for the raffle and trophy ceremony.
All in all, the entire day was a massive success, in true FBB style we were able to bring together a huge range of people for a full day of community celebration and fundraising. The event made over £6000 with more and more donations still making their way in. As always, we’d like to give a massive shout out to everyone who go involved in the day, whether a player, spectator or part of our truly spectacular volunteer family, we salute you. Thank you for coming, thank you for the support and see you next year!
If you were inspired by the events of the day, please consider becoming one of our monthly supporters HERE, or check out our page on ways to get involved. All proceeds from the day are going towards the running of our youth programmes.