On the morning of Saturday 19 May, 16 teams descended on Stamford Bridge for the annual GAM Charity Football Tournament. With the cup up for grabs and a trophy for second place, and the pitch in pristine condition, what followed was an exciting four hours of amateur – but indisputably competitive – six-a-side football.
Before the football began, each team was presented with its own kit. Having been handed a black and lime green combo, as well as a red and yellow ‘rhubarb and custard’ strip in previous years, Citywire was given a purple and white outfit for this year’s matches.
For anyone who watched Sky’s ‘Dream Team’ series during its 10-year run, it was essentially the Harchester United kit. Thankfully, the team was not spotted doing any of the off-pitch shenanigans that so regularly hampered our fictional counterparts.
The action got underway with former England and Chelsea star Graeme Le Saux taking the teams for a warm up, working through a routine of dynamic and static stretches that jarred with our earlier ‘thump the ball at the goal’ routine.
After the warm up, the first set of matches kicked off and it turned out to be Citywire’s year, making it two tournament wins out of four attempts. The cup run included a hard fought 2-0 victory over SK Financial in the semi-finals, who had eliminated Citywire the previous year.
A more than honourable mention should be given to Invesco too. The eventual runners-up travelled across from Ireland to take part, and were level for most of the final, before a 3-1 defeat. Their brilliantly taken goal was the first that Citywire conceded all day, and the goalkeeper made some fantastic saves too.
But it was St James’s Place that deservedly collected the second-place trophy after playing some entertaining and enterprising football. There was a notable close shave in the quarterfinals for SJP, as they required spot kicks to despatch Tages Group, having hit the crossbar several times in open play. Headlines including some combination of ‘SJP, exit and penalties’ would have to wait for another day.
The event was once again a big success, and helped to raise over £13,000 on the day and currently over £15,000 overall for the chosen charity, the Institute for Cancer Vaccines & Immunotherapy (ICVI). To elaborate on the work carried out by the ICVI, charity spokesperson Alexander Johns delivered a passionate speech to all in attendance.
Johns is a passionate fundraiser and has raised almost £200,000 for his three chosen charities, the ICVI, Paul’s Cancer Support and St. George’s Hospital. He is currently raising funds through his ‘Challenge Johnsie’ initiative, and his next challenge is to water ski the channel, provided that the French authorities will permit him to do so. For more information, head to www.dooneterry.com
As ever, we would like to extend a big thank you to GAM for once again organising a brilliant day of football. From raising money for a good cause, to playing on a Premier League pitch, there was plenty to remember for all involved.
A thank you is also in order for Le Saux for holding the tournament draw alongside Wealth Manager’s Eleanor Mahmoud, as well as to everyone who took part. The full list of teams included: deVere, Financial Express, JP Morgan, St James’s Place, Citywire, GAM, Invesco, Tages Group, EFG, ICVI, SK Financial, Stonehage Fleming, Atlanticomnium All Stars, Credit Suisse, NLP and Santander.