Restaurant workers return victorious from Brazil World Cup
2014 Getty Images
England footballers may have returned from Brazil downbeat after their early exit from the World Cup.
But a team of restaurant workers from the east coast have helped to restore a little bit of national footballing pride,
As previously reported in the Journal, Team Wicks – made up of McDonald’s workers from Lowestoft, Pakefield, Beccles and Great Yarmouth – claimed the right to jet out to Brazil after they won their company’s European football challenge.
And now captain Gemma Farman, who works at the Beccles McDonald’s, Sue-Lyn King, Nikki Wigg and Vicki Turner, from the Pakefield branch, Mary Colledge and Kerri Stephenson, from the Lowestoft town centre branch, and Sophie Martin, from the Great Yarmouth McDonald’s at Gapton are celebrating global success.
Team Wicks have returned home this week as five-a-side football champions after they beat a team of Brazilian McDonald’s workers in a match in Rio De Janeiro.
While out there during the World Cup, the team got the see the second round game between Uruguay and Columbia.
Kerri said: “Having the chance to play in Rio de Janeiro, one of the footballing capitals of the globe, was a once in a lifetime chance for the team and me.
“The atmosphere during the World Cup was wonderful and we managed to see Columbia versus Uruguay, which was one of the liveliest and most passionate football games I have ever experienced.”
The team were managed in the final at the FC Fluminense stadium by David Wicks, McDonald’s operations consultant.
Mr Wicks said: “I’m immensely proud of the team’s achievements this year, both as a football team and ambassadors for the brand.
“It was a long journey to Rio, becoming champions of Europe on the way, but it’s been an amazing experience.”
As well as beating the Brazilians to claim the unofficial title of world champions, Team Wicks also met former Brazilian star defender Cafu, who has played at three World Cups.
Team Wicks’s road to Brazilian glory started with the team winning the UK leg of the McDonald’s Euro Cup tournament.
The east coast side then won the European women’s final at Nuremberg, beating the champions of Denmark 1-0 with Sophie scoring the winning goal.
England 1966 World hat-trick legend Sir Geoff Hurst and former England and Manchester United player Owen Hargreaves had seen Team Wicks in action as they progressed to the final.
More then 10,000 McDonald’s workers from across Europe took part in the Euro Cup tournament process.