Footballers lift cup in strip dedicated to former pupil

Footballers lift cup in strip dedicated to former pupil

23th April 2014


SCHOOLBOY football players have lifted a prestigious cup wearing a strip dedicated to a team member’s brother who was tragically killed in a hit and run accident last year.

Year 10 footballers at St Michael’s Academy, Billingham, were presented with the winners’ trophy after triumphing over fellow schoolboys’ team English Martyrs 2-1 in the finals of the County Cup.

The win was especially poignant for squad member Luke Duffy, 15, of Billingham, whose brother Gavin, 29, was killed in November 2013 after being hit by a drunk driver while on holiday in Dubai.

Pastoral lead for Year 10 Marc Scott said: “Gavin was a former pupil at St Michael’s and our Year 10 students wanted to do something to honour his memory in a very positive way.

“The pastoral element of our school is especially strong and the Duffy family have a longstanding association with the school and the local community so we decided we needed a fitting tribute.

“Two of our Year 10 team members, Will Cook and Liam Travers, came up with the idea of raising money for a new football strip dedicated to Gavin, who was a very keen runner and footballer himself.”

Through cake sales, tombola’s and a sponsored staff verses students football match, won by the teachers 3 -2, the school raised in excess of £1,000 for the new kit, which the Year 10 team wore throughout the County Cup tournament.

Centre midfielder Luke Duffy, who scored the final’s first goal, said: “I felt really proud wearing the new strip in my brother’s memory and was buzzing after I scored the first goal of the game.”

“The County Cup is the pinnacle of achievement and the one trophy that every school aspires to secure,” said Mr Scott.

“We were competing against much bigger schools with bigger and better facilities, and were classed as the underdogs going into the final, but I think remembering Gavin galvanised the spirit of the team and they were absolutely superb on the day.”

The County Cup adds to a string of achievements for the young players, including Middlesbrough Academy left midfielder Matthew Wilson, 15, who won the District Cup last year and the League Cup in Year 7.

St Michael’s PE teacher Tony Hall said: “Every member of the team thoroughly deserved their success.

“Their work ethic and manner are second to none and they epitomise our school as a team full of leaders.”

Team captain Liam Travers, 15, of Billingham added: “It was a very proud moment playing in our new strip and lifting the County Cup not only for ourselves but for the whole school.”

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