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Christmas Toy Appeal: More than £1,500 raised in rainy football tournament

PUBLISHED: 11:50 20 November 2018 | UPDATED: 11:50 20 November 2018

Tournament winners, Balfour Beatty FC, with their winners' trophy. Picture: submitted

Tournament winners, Balfour Beatty FC, with their winners' trophy. Picture: submitted

Archant

Donation efforts turned sporting with the toy appeal’s first ever football tournament.

Mace FC, one of the six partner teams to help raise money for the Christmas Toy Appeal. Picture: submittedMace FC, one of the six partner teams to help raise money for the Christmas Toy Appeal. Picture: submitted

Last week, the Park Partners Charity Cup was held to raise money for the appeal while supporting the partners who operate the Olympic Park.

At the London Marathon Community Track in the London Stadium, six teams battled it out to be crowned the charity cup winner.

Teams from Mace, the London Legacy Development Corporation, the London Stadium Group, Greenwich Leisure Limited, Balfour Beatty and Engie put their skills to the test in the knockout tournament.

The competition began with a two-league format, with the winners of both leagues facing each other in the final.

Legacy FC, who didn't make it out of their league after beating Engie but losing to the tournament winners. Picture: submittedLegacy FC, who didn't make it out of their league after beating Engie but losing to the tournament winners. Picture: submitted

Clearly enjoying the home advantage, the London Stadium Group topped their league, while Balfour Beatty came first in theirs. But that advantage soon came to an end, with Balfour Beatty beating the Stadium Group 3-0 in the final.

Colleagues from all teams came down to watch, despite the rainy conditions. Players said how special it was being able to play in the shadows of the Bobby Moore Academy, ArcelorMittal Orbit and West Ham’s home ground.

Individual awards went to Tom Wooldridge from Balfour Beatty, who won the golden boot, and Michaen Cannon from the Stadium Group, who won the fair play award. Balfour Beatty’s Andy Cross also took home player of the tournament.

Organisers of the tournament, the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC), didn’t make it past the first round, in which they played eventual winners Balfour Beatty. But their captain, head of venues Ed Fane, led them to a hard-fought victory against Engie, meaning their night didn’t end in total misery.

Tournament winners, Balfour Beatty FC, with their winners' trophy. Picture: submittedTournament winners, Balfour Beatty FC, with their winners' trophy. Picture: submitted

The event managed to raise £1,600 for the toy appeal, which this year is aiming to collect 18,000 toys to give to more than 2,000 children.

Kevin Jenkins, life president of Community Links and coordinator of the appeal, said: “The support and kindness of everyone involved with the Partner Cup has given the appeal a tremendous kick off this year – our sincere thanks and appreciation to everyone involved.”

Following its’ success, the organisers are hoping to run the tournament again next year.

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