Celebrations all round as Newcastle pupils win Sir Bobby Robson Cup

Footballers from a Newcastle school were celebrating after they came top of the league to lift the trophy in a regional tournament.

The team from English Martyrs’ Catholic Primary School in Fenham won five out of their six matches to claim victory in the Sir Bobby Robson Great North Children’s Hospital Tournament.

The Year 5 and 6 players, all aged nine to 11, won their semi-final match 3-0 against Parkhead Primary, before facing Highfield Primary in the final, which was held at the Newcastle United Academy.

Despite conceding an early goal, the English Martyrs’ team triumphed 7-2 over their opponents to take the game – and the trophy.

“All players played their part,” said Anthony Kennedy, Deputy Headteacher at the school, which is part of the Bishop Bewick Catholic Education Trust.

“There were some wonderful set pieces and free kicks by captain Harry Gowing and top goal scorer Harrison Smith, who scored three hat tricks, including one in the final, with a total of 11 goals overall.

“The players were so proud of themselves, and rightly so. They each received a special winner’s medal, and they were awarded a special trophy to keep. The EMCPS name will also be engraved on the winners’ shield, which the school will keep until next year’s tournament.”

The school was new to the annual event, which is organised by the Newcastle United Foundation.

“This was our first time in the competition, as you are invited to take part in the Newcastle United Foundation if a pupil from your school has received care in the Great North Children’s Hospital, at the Royal Victoria Infirmary,” explained Mr Kennedy.

“One of our Year 5 pupils spent a significant amount of time in hospital this year, including over Christmas, but was supported by the NUF whilst in hospital, including a visit from the Newcastle United Players.”

“I really enjoyed the tournament,” said Harry, aged 10. “It was really good how we came from behind after conceding an early goal in the final. We kept our heads and supported each other. It was great to play at the Academy, and I am really proud of everyone.”

“We played really well as a team and scored some great goals,” agreed Harrison, who is also 10. “The Newcastle Foundation are a great charity as they help those in hospital and also give opportunities for children with disabilities and help them take part in football.”

“It was great for the team, who worked so hard for each other throughout the tournament,” added football coach Laura Moran. “They played with real confidence, but, most of all, had fun.

“The win will give the team a real boost, with lots of fixtures still to play before the end of the year. It was particularly special for our Year 6 pupils, as it will be a fantastic memory of their final term at English Martyrs’.”

Pic: courtesy Kate Buckingham