Print this page

ESFA / Durham Under 13 Festival of Football 2000

Collingwood College (University of Durham) was used as the residential base with the matches being played at either the University's Graham Sports Centre or Houghall College.

The 2000 Durham Festival was attended by fourteen associations this, an increase of 3 residential associations with the number of non-residents remaining the same as last year. Our visitors from afar were regular attendees Allerdale and Gravesham who were joined by Leeds, Reading - who we were delighted to welcome back after previously attending the first Festival in 1992 and Doncaster who we welcomed to Durham for the first time. Bishop Auckland, Hartlepool and Sunderland maintained their record of being represented at all nine Durham Festivals.

Late problems led to the residence being switched to Collingwood College who had hosted last year’s ESFA AGM. This proved an excellent base for the Festival. The wet weather played havoc with the first day's matches. However last minute re-arrangements to the fixtures involving three games being played on an artificial pitch meant that all teams played a match. The prayer mats came out and all the other fixtures were completed as per the schedule.

DCSFA were again delighted with the magnificent support given to us by the Professional Footballers' Association. Over the last five years the PFA have greatly enhanced our Festival. Ex Sunderland players Martin Scott and Tim Carter provided the associations with first class coaching sessions. These were most appreciated by the boys. Ex QPR player Simon Barker represented the PFA this year and led seminars using the PFA's drugs awareness in football video and chaired a very interesting sports forum following the Opening Ceremony. Sunderland goalkeeper Andy Marriott and Premier League referee Jeff Winter joined Simon to answer questions posed by the boys.

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 John Robson replied on behalf of ESFA and thanked Durham County Council for the kind patronage that they have given to the Festival for the last nine years. Many thanks are due to Durham officials Alan Johnston and John Shippen and Doncaster referee Andy Wright who organised a 5-a-side session, won by Gravesham, to keep the boys busy so that resident staff could be present.

Allerdale won the Fair Play Award judged by the referees with Derwentside runners up. On the field Sunderland and Bishop Auckland 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 and Wet 'n Wild.

DCSFA would like to thank Durham County Council, Professional Footballers Association, Collingwood College, the University of Durham Sports Centre, Houghall College, and our local referees for their support of the Festival.

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

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