On July 16th, something regular happened and something unusual happened – the Doorway football team took part in the annual Kandu Cup at Stanley Park again (this year titled the Lee Dowse Memorial Trophy, in memory of a late volunteer with Kandu Arts); but this year the team progressed to the semi-finals. This was the first time we have ever qualified from the Round Robin stage in this competition, after a decade or so of trying. Maybe because I didn’t play – we couldn’t afford knackered old passengers. Though I made sure we knew who and where we were playing, timed games for sub purposes, took photos, generally supported and cheered and had a great if wet time. I was, and remain, immensely proud of their efforts throughout.
Special mention to Aki for scoring 10 (TEN) of the 12 goals we scored in our W3 D4 L1 group performance. We finished 2nd and so faced in the semis the 4th placed Dorset and Wilts Fire and Rescue, the only team we had lost to, who beat us again 2-0. They went on to win the cup, well done them.
My pride is also for the attitude of our ‘boys’, which was fair and spot on throughout. We would like it to have included the ‘girls’, but sadly as ever FA / FIFA rules applied, no mixed teams allowed, so supporting the team was all that was possible.
Thanks to Ed Deedigan and Donna as ever for the organisation of this great event. And to Sam Coleman, daughter of the late great commentator David Coleman, who presented the medals. And to Kandu’s offical photographer, from whom I nicked some photos. She was able to get closer to the presentation of the medals. You can tell which ones are hers. They’re the better ones…..
PS: I thought Aki’s achievements deserved proper recognition, so commissioned a ‘Golden Boot’ award….
[Martin Searle, August 2023]