Print this page

ESFA / Durham Under 13 Festival of Football 1996

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.

The 1996 Durham Festival was attended by 17 associations which is an increase of one resident and a decrease of one non-resident when compared with last year. The seven associations who have attended all the previous Festivals, Allerdale, Bishop Auckland, Chester-le-Street, Hartlepool, Newcastle, Peterborough and Sunderland, were again among the participants for this fifth Festival. We were pleased to welcome Kingston-upon-Hull and Wellingborough & Rushden attending for the first time this year.

Once again the weather was kind to us during the Festival. The first matches on Monday saw good wins for Gravesham, Leeds, Hull and East Northumberland. During the afternoon Mr Jimmy Montgomery took groups of goalkeepers for specialist coaching sessions.

In the evening the Opening Ceremony was held in the Conference Hall at Houghall College. Mr Geoff Wainwright and Mr Alan Johnston, secretary and Chairman of Durham County Schools' FA, welcomed our visitors to Durham for the Festival. We were delighted to have the ESFA Chairman, Mr Martin Duffield, with us who spoke of his love of the area and thanked all concerned with the Festival. Phil Dodd of Houghall College welcomed everyone to Houghall and invited anyone who was interested to look round the gardens of the Horticultural College.

This ceremony was followed by a sports forum chaired expertly by the PFAs Mr Brian Marwood who had George Courtney, Alan Wilkie and Keith Gillespie on his panel answering questions that had been submitted by the associations. This was an excellent evening’s entertainment and we thank all four gentlemen for their enlightening contributions. The involvement of the Professional Footballers' Association this year greatly enriched the Festival. Brian Marwood also did a seminar with each resident association on drugs awareness in football.

We were pleased that adidas supported the Festival again this year providing match balls and a ball for each association, prizes for the 6-a-side finalists and the "Fair Play Award" for the association judged by the referees to have best shown the true spirit of schoolboy and Festival football. Barney Jones from adidas gave all the resident players a session testing the adidas Predator boots.

The second day Leeds and East Northumberland, both 5-0 winners on the first day, played each other with East Northumberland winning 5-0. Luton, Derwentside and North Tyneside all had good wins but the highlight of the day was Allerdale's first ever win in Festival football. They had played 30 Festival matches (18 at Durham and 12 at the Isle of Wight) without winning until defeating Darlington 4-3. Gravesham, Luton, Leeds and Wellingborough all visited the Metro Centre for the afternoon.

In the evening many thanks are due to Durham officials Alan Johnston, John Shippen and Tony Carter who assisted by two of our young referees, organised a 6-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 Joe Walker, at County Hall. Councillor Walker welcomed the assembled Festival staff to Durham. ESFA Representative, Mr John Robson, thanked Durham County Council for the kind patronage that they have given to the Festival for the last five years and made presentations to Councillor Walker and the Council. The 6-a-side final was shared by Luton A and Luton B.

On the third day an excellent match between Hull and East Northumberland ended three all. Bishop Auckland, Chester-le-Street and Sunderland recorded their first victories. There were good wins for North Tyneside and Newcastle. It was Allerdale, Hull and Peterborough's turn to spend the afternoon off campus with a visit to Beamish Museum. Again this year we transported all the residents to Crowtree Leisure Centre for the Wednesday evening. The boys went ice skating and/or swimming.

On the final morning there were big wins for Derwentside and Newcastle who both won all their matches during the Festival. In all 159 goals were scored during the thirty two fixtures. Darlington and Hartlepool shared the Fair Play Award with maximum 160 points. They were followed closely by Wellingborough with 159 points.

DCSFA would like to thank Durham County Council, The Professional Footballers Association - especially Brian Marwood, adidas (UK) and Durham Football Association for their input into this year’s Festival. We hope that this involvement can continue 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 and for their help in scoring the Fair Play Award.

The coaching sessions were well organised and enjoyable and continue to be an important part of the Festival. Many grateful thanks to Brian Marwood, Jimmy Montgomery, Cosi Basile, Neville Wharrier and Arthur Philliskirk for providing them. The associations that benefitted from these sessions spoke highly of their appreciation for them.

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

DCFSA look forward to the sixth Festival next year which will be from Monday 24th March to Thursday 27th March 1997 and hope to renew the many friendships made during the first five ESFA Durham Under 13 Festivals of Football.