Former Norwich City striker Chris Martin is a big hit at hometown club event
- Credit: Nick Butcher
Derby County striker Chris Martin returned to his hometown to present awards to enthusiastic young footballers at an inspirational event.
Hundreds of youngsters from Beccles Town FC enjoyed a footballing fun day at the weekend as the curtain came down on “another great season” for the club.
The annual youth section presentation day was held at The Nest on Saturday – and the club headquarters proved to be a hive of activity.
About 1,500 people descended on the venue throughout the day, with club officials describing the events as “another massive success” and “a fitting end to another great season” for the club’s young players.
Since Beccles Town FC came into existence in June 2014 following a merger of Beccles Town and St Benet’s Wasps Football Clubs, the Wherrymen and the Wasps have combined to create an inclusive club, which has provided a clear pathway for footballers in the town.
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Now with two successful senior sides, almost 30 youth teams, an U18 side and a popular Little Stingers (Saturday Club) it has seen football for all accommodated from five-year-olds through to senior level.
And at the third annual youth presentation day, which ran from 9am to 5pm on Saturday, fun was on the agenda. With European Championships themed matches for the younger age groups in the morning, and matches for the older youngsters in the afternoon – as well as awards being handed out to the respective teams – there was also a fun coaches game for the adults.
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David Leech, club fixture secretary, helped to organise the event. He said: “It was a busy weekend. It was a good chance for us to get all the teams together, as well as the parents, and for the kids to do something a bit different.
“We sold almost 1,200 tickets prior to the event, and about 300 came through the gate – so about 1,500 attended.”
The younger age groups, running from five-year-olds up to U9/U10, played some fun games in the morning with a Euro 2016 theme, prior to their presentations – with Derby striker Chris Martin – who hails from Beccles – handing out the awards.
Age groups ranging from U11 upwards then mixed together to take part in a series of fun games during the day, with two pitches featuring numerous matches, before their presentations.
Mr Leech said: “The fun games were a way of relaxing, with the younger children given 14 individual tasks to do. Everyone gets an award for playing for the club for the season. For the children aged U11 upwards there were merit awards – for the player of the season and the most improved player – while long service awards were presented to the U16s, with many having been with the club since U7/U8.”
With former Norwich striker Mr Martin presenting the individual awards and honours marking the children’s commitment to Beccles FC, first team players also joined in with the fun day. Mr Leech added: “The youngsters love watching the first team matches, and for the younger ones to have someone like Chris Martin – a professional footballer – in front of them was quite amazing.”
Tomorrow, (May 28) the club holds its annual summer ball at the Waveney House Hotel, where the presentations take place for the first team, reserves and for the first time the under 18 side.