On the 14 August, a beautiful sunny day in North London, eleven representative sides from National League clubs battled it out for the National League Trust’s inaugural Walking Football Tournament. Powerleague Wembley, under the shadow of the stadium’s arch, was the venue for this keenly fought contest.

Organised to launch the new identity for the Football Conference Trust, the tournament attracted sides from all over the country.

The clubs involved were: Brackley Town, Chelmsford City Walking Football Club, Dagenham and Redbridge, Eastbourne Borough Strollers, Eastleigh Dambusters, Margate One and Margate Two, Stockport County Yellows, Stockport County Blues, Wealdstone Wanderers and Weston Wolves.

Middlesex County FC provided referees to ensure fair play and that all adhered to the rules of the competition.

Chairman Brian Lee MBE, and trustees Jack Pearce and Lord Faulkner of Worcester were there to watch the entertaining contest.

The whole event was sponsored by SIS Pitches who provided the venue and the trophies.

After the group stage, Dagenham & Redbridge were top of group one, having won four of their five games, with Margate One in second place with three wins. Group two saw Wealdstone Wanderers win all of their games – including a 9-0 victory over Margate Two – with Brackley Town in second place with four wins.

The semi-finals were won by Wealdstone who beat Margate One 6 – 2 and Dagenham and Redbridge, with a 4 – 1 win over Brackley Town.

The final was a close affair, finishing 2-2- after normal time. A penalty shoot-out saw Wealdstone triumph 2-0.

The four clubs who finished bottom of their groups played against each other for the plate. Weston Wolves beat Stockport County Blues 4 – 2, and Eastbourne Borough Stollers beat Stockport County Yellows 4 – 0. The final saw Weston triumph 3-0.

The remaining clubs played a round robin and Chelmsford City emerged as the victors.

Some well know National League personalities took part, including Ray Murphy from Eastleigh and Nick Symmonds who led the victorious Wealdstone team. Everyone had a great day and there is no doubt this will become an annual event.

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About the Author : Susan OBrien