Smalley primary school celebrates victory in historic football cup
The Mayor of Heanor visited a Smalley primary school last week to officially present its football team with the prestigious Gregg VC cup.
Richardson Endowed Primary School triumphed in the cup final against Langley Mill Academy last month, and the young stars were still buzzing when Councillor Brian Gration visited to congratulate them.
Coach Lisa Shaw said: “I’m absolutely delighted for them and proud as punch for what they have achieved. It was a real team effort, just brilliant, they gave everything.”
Coun Gration explained the significance of the trophy, which dates back to before the Second World War and is named in memory of local Victoria Cross recipient William Gregg.
Lisa said: “The Mayor said that on his way to the school two men in their 70s had stopped him to ask if it was the same trophy they had played for.
“Generations of school children all remember this, and it means a lot to our boys to win something which is so valuable historically.”
Six teams compete in the tournament every year, playing games over three weeks at the Heanor Town ground.
Captain Thomas Bamford led the Richardson side to a last gasp 2-1 semi-final victory over Mundy Juniors, before they repeated the trick in the final against their rivals.
It is only the second time that Richardson Primary has entered, having been knocked out in the first round by Langley Mill last year.
The final is a formal affair, in keeping with tradition, with teams walking out as 11-a-side, rather than the nine which is typical for their age group.
Freddie Simpkins gave them an early lead with a speculative effort, only for Langley Mill to claw their way back in the second half.
A free kick close to the death resulted in a goalmouth scramble, and Kian Hughes applied the finishing touch to spark the celebrations.
Lisa said: “It was nice to beat Langley Mill but our players showed great sportsmanship at the end, which is one of the most important things I try to teach them.”
The squad was Thomas, Kian, Freddie, Mason Chadwick, Billy Gosney, Amar Dosanjh, Liam Parry, Charlie Slater, Blaydon McGeown-Harwood, Dylan Ufton, Eddie McDonald, and Maddox Stobbs.