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Tuesday 02 Jul 2019
72 clubs represented at ‘memorable’ celebration of disability football

More than 360 games were played in the 2019 George Best Community Cup, the huge annual celebration of disability football, across four ability bands.

And north Belfast side Grove Athletic were the only team from Northern Ireland to take home one of the main trophies after triumphing in the Ability Level 1 decider.

The tournament, staged at the Billy Neill complex in Dundonald over two days, attracted more than 600 players from 72 disability football clubs throughout the UK and Ireland.

Games were played across 12 pitches in the four ability bands and the action was fast and furious throughout.

Wrexham Football Club won the Ability Level 4 competition, beating South Tyneside in the final.

The Ability 3 trophy was secured by Scottish team Blantyre Soccer Academy, who defeated Bradford Disability FC in the decider.

Sutton United from England won ability band two, beating Northern Ireland side CSP in a tight final. 

And Grove Athletic defeated Newcastle United 1-0 in another close game to bring the Ability Level 1 silverware back to north Belfast.

The 2019 George Best Community Cup was also a real goal fest with more than 500 goals on finals day alone. 

The annual five-a-side tournament for clubs catering for players with a disability is run by the Irish Football Association Foundation and supported by Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council, Cash for Kids and The George Best Foundation through the Mary Peters Trust.

Tournament organiser and IFA Disability Football Development Manager Alan Crooks was delighted with this year’s tournament.

He pointed out: “The support we get from the George Best Foundation through the Mary Peters Trust has enabled us to develop the competition to the size it is today.

“It was great to see so many visiting clubs from other parts of the UK, including the disability sections of the likes of Liverpool and QPR. 

“The football was exciting in all four bands and it was good to see so many players of all ability levels getting the opportunity to play competitive football. Congratulations to all the players, coaches and volunteers who made the 2019 George Best Community Cup a memorable one.”