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ESFA / Durham Under 13 Festival of Football 1994

Houghall College (Durham College of Agricultural and Horticulture) was used as the residential base with the matches being played on the first class pitches within the college grounds.

Seven associations have now taken part in all three Durham Festivals. Six of this year’s participants had attended one of the previous Festivals. Bromley, Gravesham and Gosport & Fareham attended for the first time this year. The total of 16 associations was an increase of one on the 1993 Festival and three more than the first Festival in 1992. There was an increase of two residential teams compared with previous years.

With very little rain in Durham during March the grounds were hard but weather conditions were quite pleasant when the first matches kicked off on Monday afternoon. Gravesham had a good first day defeating East Northumberland 6-2. Another high scoring game saw Hartlepool beat Luton 5-3.

In the evening the Opening Ceremony was held in the Conference Hall at Houghall College. Mr Tony Carter, Chairman of Durham County Schools' FA, welcomed our visitors to Durham for the Festival. Mr John Robson, Council Member for Area 1, addressed the assembled Festival participants on behalf of ESFA. Phil Dodd of Houghall College welcomed everyone to Houghall and invited anyone who was interested to look round the gardens of the Horticultural College. The guest speaker was ESFA and Durham County life member Mr Jim Robinson MBE. He presented the captain of each team with certificates for each boy to commemorate their participation in the Festival. Mr Graham Morgan from adidas spoke about their involvement with this year’s Festival. Adidas had samples of the new Predator football boot for the boys to try during the Festival. This was backed up by a video about the boot which was shown to many of the associations in residence. Adidas also provided prizes for the 5-a-side finalists and a "Golden Shoe Award" for the leading goalscorers during the Festival. All goalscorers and goalkeepers keeping a clean sheet were to receive adidas baseball caps.

The second day's matches were again played in pleasant weather and saw good wins for Bishop Auckland, Gateshead and Newcastle. In a close game Bromley defeated Chester-le-Street 1-0. Gosport & Fareham, Allerdale and Bromley all visited Beamish Museum and Peterborough went to the Metro Centre for the afternoon.

In the evening great thanks are due to Durham officials Alan Johnston and John Shippen who assisted by Daryl Lucas from Gravesham organised a 5-a-side session to keep the boys busy whilst the staff (both residential and non-residential) were the guests of the Chairman of Durham County Council, Councillor Macintosh, at County Hall. Mr Tony Carter and Mr John Robson thanked Durham County Council for the financial help that they have given to the Festival. Councillor Macintosh delighted us by saying that despite the cutbacks in local government they would hope that they could continue their involvement in the Festival. The 5-a-side was won by one of the Peterborough teams with Gravesham runners up.

On the third day there were again strong victories for both Newcastle and Gateshead. Peterborough recorded their first win and Bromley recorded their second win from two matches. It was Luton and Gravesham's turn to spend the afternoon at Beamish and the Metro Centre.

A new venture this year was to transport all the residents to Crowtree Leisure Centre for the Wednesday evening. The boys went ice skating and/or swimming. This proved a popular evening and was a good venue for the boys.

It remained dry during daylight hours but it was quite windy on the final morning when Bromley and Bishop Auckland, both with 100% records, played out a 0-0 draw. Newcastle who had also won their first three matches were beaten 3-1 by Peterborough. Chester-le-Street managed to break their duck with a 3-0 win against Allerdale. Gateshead defeated Gravesham 3-0 and with three wins and a draw from four fixtures scoring 16 goals and conceding only 2 proved to be the strongest team at this year’s Festival.

Stewart Morris from Newcastle and Gianni Santoro from Peterborough shared the adidas Golden Shoe Award with six goals each. We would like to thank adidas and Graham Morgan for their input into this year’s Festival. We hope that this will be the start of greater involvement in the future.

DCSFA again got tremendous support from our local referees. Some referees were delighted to take charge of two matches in a day. All of the referees clearly enjoyed the event. DCSFA thank them for their participation.

The coaching sessions were well organised and enjoyable and continue to be an important part of the Festival. Many thanks to Dave Parnaby and Arthur Philliskirk for providing them. The associations that benefitted from these sessions spoke of their appreciation for them.

Many thanks go to the Organising Committee from Durham County Schools Football Association for their invaluable contributions to the Festival.

DCFSA look forward to the fourth Festival next year and hope to renew the many friendships made during the first three ESFA Durham Under 13 Festivals of Football.