A football tournament sponsored by Thompsons Personal Injury Solicitors has been hailed as ‘life changing’ by Peter McNestry Chair of the Coalfields Regeneration Trust.
The CRT organised the tri-nations Home International 5-aside tournament between midnight league teams from Scotland, England and Wales at the new state of the art Toryglen Football Centre on Saturday September 5.
After the tournament the 50 boys taking part and their coaches were guest of the Scottish FA at the Scotland England game at Hampden, and later they enjoyed a session at the Kevin Keegan Soccer Circus.
Thompsons Solicitors partner Bruce Shields who attended the tournament, and went onto Hampden with the teams said: “It was a wonderful tournament, and obviously a huge occasion for the young lads taking part.
“Thompsons have very strong links with mining communities, and the NUM and we were delighted to sponsor the Scottish team.
“The Scottish lads gave us a real run for our money, reaching the final only to lose to Wales whom they had beaten earlier in the round robin stages.
“But at least we saw one Scottish win when we went onto Hampden to see Scotland beat Macedonia 2-0 and keep our world cup hopes alive.”
Peter McNestry, Chair of the Coalfields Regenration Trust said: “The Coalfields Regeneration Trust is particularly concerned with helping young people.
“It’s not just about jobs or training. It’s about quality of life and giving them all the challenges and opportunities they would have enjoyed if the coal industry had continued and kept everyone in employment.
“This midnight league competition is by far the flagship of our sporting events, not just for those here today, but also the 3,000 young people up and down the country who take part throughout the year.
“The players representing their countries will remember this day for a very long time. We hope in many ways it has changed lives, and we believe it has already.”
Mr McNestry went on to thank the tournament sponsors, Scottish Resources Group and the Scottish team sponsors Thompsons Solicitors, who both have strong links with coalfield communities.
Fellow trustees, Ken Greenfields, Vice Chair, Sylvia Wileman, Nicky Wilson and Joe Thomas, as well as MSPs Cathy Jamieson and Cathie Craigie and local councillors joined Mr McNestry at the event.
Andy Auld represented Sponsors Scottish Resources Group, while Bruce Shields represented Thompsons.
The Welsh sponsors were RCT Homes (Meadow Prospect), Cynon Valley Crime Prevention, Tenovus and Cambrian Village Trust
Nicky Wilson, Scottish Trustee of the Coalfields Regeneration Trust picked John Carrick of Scotland at the player of the tournament.
Nicky Wilson said: “This has been a fantastic event, played in the highest of sporting spirit and with some fantastic skills on display.
“We support midnight league football because it gets young people off the streets and onto the pitch.
“What a thrill for all these young lads having the opportunity to represent their country in this Home International tournament.
“It really is an event which widens their horizons, and I am sure many of them will go onto greater things.”