Crunching tackles, outstanding saves and agonising penalties all featured at the Construction and Property five-a-side tournament held at the David Beckham Academy
Contractor Leadbitter triumphed at the first Construction and Property five-a-side tournament at the David Beckham Academy in North Greenwich, London, last night. In doing so it won the right to play a team of football legends featuring, among others, Chelsea god Kerry Dixon.
Leadbitter beat 16 other teams at the David Beckham Football Academy including Building magazine, which suffered the ignominy of failing to score in any of the games.
The matches were played on the latest type of astro-turf that thankfully does not give third degree burns after every tackle. The long ‘blades of grass’ mean studs can even be worn. Let’s hope that the Russian plastic pitch England play on tonight is similarly well spec’d.
The games were officiated by immaculately coiffeured referees in dapper grey kit. The fact they looked more like hotel consierges than traditional refs suggested that Victoria B may have had a hand in some aspects of the academy.
The rest of the Academy does have a school academy feel to it – pale wood, bright colour and flexible open-plan spaces. Maybe Dave could start sponsoring Labour’s next wave of academies if he gets bored in Los Angeles.
Thankfully the 80s football legends reminded everybody what ‘proper’ football was all about – plenty of banter, lashed shots and crunching tackles.
Twenty five years ago the crunchiest of tackles would have been delivered by Tottenham hardman Graham Roberts. Thankfully Roberts, who replaced Graham Souness as Celtic’s enforcer, was calmness personified, but some of the legends still had fire in their belly.
Micky Hazard, the 80s Totthenham playmaker, was not a happy midfielder after he fluffed a series of chances. The resulting effing and blinding (for that is how we swore back in the day) were a sure sign that Micky was giving it his all.
Among the standout legends was Chelsea star Clive Walker, who’s still a nippy winger at the ripe old age of 50, and goalkeeper Bob Boulder (renamed Bob the Boulder by the construction crowd), also made some outstanding saves.
For all their nous and flair, age caught up with the legends in the end as they lost on penalties. Graham Roberts toe-ended the losing penalty against the post, leaving the Leadbitter players with something to tell their grandchildren.
All the monies raised from the tournament, organised by Building and Property Week, will go to the Willow Foundation, which provides special days out for seriously ill young people.