"On Friday 23rd February, the club had the honour of hosting a first-round local heat of the FA People’s Cup. This was a result of our ongoing partnership with Bedfordshire FA in promoting football in the community at all levels, for all abilities and to give young people who may not otherwise get an opportunity to play, a chance to do so.
There were local teams that included our Community Partner School, Weatherfield as well as Chiltern, based in Houghton Regis and Cedars from Leighton Buzzard. Teams also came from further afield making up a total of 55 local footballers.
The tournament also had an international feel to it with officials and supporters of the Swedish club – Nyköpings BIS, which plays in the third-tier of the Swedish league system visiting the club and supporting the event.
It was wonderful to see so many young people eager to play with a smile on their face. The matches were played in a competitive and friendly manner. Win, lose or draw, after every match there were handshakes, congratulations and consolations between the teams. There was fantastic support on the side-lines from family, teachers and members of the local community. All supporters cheered on the players and applauded good play irrespective if it was the team they had come to support.
Highlights were a stunning goal from a goalkeeper who shot from one end to the other; a referee jokingly giving one of our Swedish colleagues a red card; the team progressing to play in the regional finals in Birmingham, in March; Caj Hjelm, of Nyköpings BIS, handing out medals; and players, supporters and coaches all sitting together to enjoy a well-earned lunch.
The group photo shows not only the camaraderie amongst all the players but how much they enjoyed the day. This is what football is and should always be about.
We would like to thank Josh Spavins, of the Bedfordshire FA along with James Slack at Creasey Park for making this a reality."
Dunstable Town Football Club Chairman