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ESFA / Durham Under 13 Festival of Football 1999

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 1999 Durham Festival was attended by eleven associations The Durham Festival has always been held in the week leading up to Good Friday, which causes problems with some authorities when Easter is early. This last happened in 1997. This year the number of teams was disappointingly the same as two years ago. Gravesham and Luton have become the backbone of the residents and it was pleasing to greet these associations again. Bishop Auckland, Hartlepool and Sunderland maintained their record of being represented at all eight Durham Festivals. Visitors to the Festival were again impressed with the magnificent setting that Houghall provides.

DCSFA were again delighted with the magnificent support given to the Durham Festival by the Professional Footballers' Association. Over the last few years the PFA coaches have been excellent and this year was no exception when Joe Joyce provided the associations with first class coaching sessions. These were most appreciated by the boys. John Bramhall returned this year and led seminars using the PFA's drugs awareness in football video, adidas supported the Festival this year by providing match balls.

On Tuesday evening the staff (both residential and non-residential) were the guests of Durham County Council at County Hall for a Civic Reception. The chairman of the Council welcomed the assembled Festival staff to Durham and spoke of his admiration for teachers who gave up their time so willingly to enable pupils to participate in schools' football. Mr Denis Fulton replied on behalf of ESFA and he and the Durham SFA chairman, Mr John Adamson, thanked Durham County Council for the kind patronage that they have given to the Festival for the last eight years. Many thanks are due to Durham officials Alan Johnston and John Shippen who organised a 5-a-side session to keep the boys busy so that resident staff could be present

Bishop Auckland won the Fair Play Award judged by the referees with Derwentside, and East Northumberland joint runners up. On the field East Northumberland and South Tyneside proved to be the strongest sides and we look to their progress in future seasons. During the Festival the residential teams enjoyed trips to the Gateshead Metro Centre, Tenpin Bowling and Wet ‘n’ Wild.

DCSFA would like to thank Durham County Council, The Professional Footballers Association, Houghall College, adidas (UK), the University of Durham, and our local referees for their support of the Festival.

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

DCSFA look forward to the ninth Festival next year when we hope to renew the many friendships made during the first eight Durham Under 13 Festivals of Football.