IT was a highly competitive and very successful Corporate Five-a-Side Tournament at the Pirelli Stadium with 20 teams battling it out to win the coveted trophy.
In the end, JCB emerged victorious beating Burton Chamber of Commerce 5-3 in a well contested final refereed by former Premier League official Jeff Winter and watched by Burton Albion manager Nigel Clough.
Winning player-manager Josh Wright said: "We were a late entry and pulled together a team at the last minute but we had a good bunch of lads and it was very enjoyable. If you do it again we will back 100 per cent."
The tournament saw 20 local businesses take time out from the working day to enjoy the rare experience of playing on the Pirelli Stadium pitch and to help raise funds for Burton Albion Community Trust.
Burton Albion Commercial Director Fleur Robinson said: “It’s great to be able to put on event like this and to see everybody having such a good time. I want to thank Booker Wholesale our main event sponsors and all the teams who have taken part representing a great selection of local businesses. We forget working here day-in, day-out what a great opportunity it is to play on the Pirelli Stadium pitch and seeing how much they are enjoying it makes it even more rewarding.”
Matt Hancock, Head of Community at BACT, said: “It has been a real team effort between the club and trust to put on the event.
"There were some tired legs at the end of it but lots of smiling faces. It shows what the business community is all about in Burton with 20 companies taking time out of. the working day to not only play football but to help make an impact in the community with a donation from today’s event going back into our inclusive support programme. Which means it’s also about what’s going to be happening in the coming months out in the community in our activities.”
The special guest for the event was Jeff Winter, who as well as agreeing to referee the final, was a speaker at the awards dinner, giving a fascinating insight into life as a top official in the Premier League.
He said: “It’s 15 years since I was a Premier League referee, but I’m delighted to come and take care of the final. It’s great to be here at Burton Albion and see so many teams involved and from what I have seen they are all very keen and very competitive. Once the whistle goes the will to win is there.”
Nigel Clough enjoyed watching the final.
He said: “It's been a great day and everyone seems to have enjoyed it. There are not many non-professional players who get to play on a professional pitch and the teams I have spoken to today say they have had a wonderful time."
Brian Davies, from main sponsors Booker Wholesale, who also entered a team in the tournament, said: “It was cold to start with but watching our team record a 5-0 victory warmed us up.
"Over the last eight or nine years we have always been involved with Burton Albion and Burton Albion Community Trust and it’s a part of what we do at Booker with all my staff raising money for charity all year.
“It has been a great event which I’m sure everyone has enjoyed it.”
FAIR PLAY AWARD WINNER: Daniel Ford
SAFE HANDS AWARD: Chris Fryer
JOINT TOP SCORERS: Charlie Ryles and Dan Holdcroft
PLAYER OF THE TOURNAMENT: Lee Hyde
RUNNERS-UP: Burton Chamber of Commerce