Play on the Etihad Stadium pitch - a huge success!
- 25 May 2013 10:48
- Posted by Eilidh Gilfillan
At the end of each football season the Etihad pitch is opened to the public for one week before its stripped back to host live concerts and gigs.
This year has been no exception and on Wednesday 22nd of May, City in the Community hosted their first ‘Pay to Play’ charity fundraising tournament at the Etihad Stadium. Eight local teams entered to play on the award winning pitch to create their own history as footballers. For match preparation participants in each team were given full Nike kit; shirts and shorts and socks. At the beginning of each game, the teams entered the pitch through the tunnel to a crowd of families and friends in the stands and were filmed and played on the big screen.
Premier League referee Scott Mathieson was in charge throughout the game and BBC commentator Ian Cheeseman provided slick and entertaining commentary throughout the tournament. Ex-City players Iain Brightwell, Asa Hartford, Peter Barnes and Tommy Booth were also on hand to offer tips and coaching to the players.
Kick off began at 2.30 pm with games lasting 20 minutes and involved teams from City in the Community’s One City Programme, CITC Kicks volunteers and staff. Both Peter Barnes and Asa Hartford got involved in an aggressive first game in the first round playing for Mike Summerbee’s team Optimum Procurement. Games throughout the tournament became increasingly competitive with our own Lee Kelly’s team Ian Taylor XI losing out to VMFC 3-2 on penalties. The match highlight was when young Mark Richards of One City FC scored an outstanding goal against finalists Ian Taylor XI. Mark won ‘Goal of the Tournament’ and also received a standing ovation and a dance from the punters!
To round off what was a fantastic day, City in the Community Ambassadors Alex Williams and Paul Lake presented the awards and trophies.
“The whole spirit of the day was fantastic, we had a mixture of businesses, sponsored teams and teams that play together on a regular basis. The money that they raised for this unique experience to play on the Etihad pitch, will go a long way to providing more great opportunities for the participants we work with across Manchester. It was great to meet so many Manchester City fans, and thank them for their support of City in the Community” said Gareth Hughes, organiser and Football Development Manager for City Football Club.
City in the Community would like to thank everybody that took part. 100% the donations are going straight to City in the Community and our chosen charities. These donations will make a great difference to the lives of people that CITC work with across Manchester on and off the pitch.
To register your interest to play in 2014’s ‘Pay to Play’ day, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org