Last year saw the Fairs Cup Over 30’s Football Tournament reach a special milestone – it’s TENTH anniversary. We asked Tournament Committee member Tom Burns to look back on the ten years of the event.
“We had the idea for a football tournament over a few refreshments in Bridgeness Club one night. The kids tournament had been such a success that we thought it might be interesting to see if a similar event for the former pupils of the five primary schools, plus one team of Incomers, would generate any funds for the Bo’ness Fair. There were a few doubters and I have to be honest and say that I thought it would be an achievement if we ran it as a one off. Little did we think it would be such a success and here we are today having celebrated our tenth anniversary, raising over £30,000 for the Fair in the process. A real example of the Bo’ness community spirit in action.
There have been many memorable moments over the last ten years, with teams playing for the Ian Reid Memorial Shield and the player of the tournament awarded the Colin Duncan “Toje” Memorial Trophy. named after two great pals we will never forget. I remember the first tournament like it was yesterday. We held it at Newtown Park on 16th June 2002 and the summer sun was gleaming in readiness for the Fair less than two weeks later. Although his team Deanburn never lost a goal in the competition that year, as Garry Chapman still reminds me to this day, they were beaten in the final on penalties by St Mary’s. This was the first of the Saints FIVE victories in the competition, still the record to be beaten. Deanburn were, however, triumphant the very next year. The incomers have won the Cup twice, most recently winning last year’s competition despite the poor weather. My own particular highlight was in 2009 when the two teams from my old school the Public faced each other in the Final. The Public were also victorious in 2010. The Grange and Kinneil can count themselves unlucky as both have made it to the semis and the final on more than one occasion, maybe this year lads!
In 2003 we moved the tournament to the Douglas Park to enable us to have more activities for families and supporters and the event has gone from strength to strength. This year the Fairs Cup 2012 will be the best ever! As well as the football skills on offer in the tournament itself, there will also be a Ladies Challenge Match and lots of entertainment in the park including Zumbatomic for kids, Refreshments for over 18’s will also be available from the beer tent that will have extended opening hours this year from 12 noon through to 8pm. We’re hoping to see a big crowd in attendance so I hope readers can come along and join the fun.
I’d like to finish by saying a big thanks to everyone involved with the event for their help in making the tournament such a great success over the last ten years, without the dedicated work behind the scenes to organise the event and the volunteers on the day, the event simply wouldn’t happen. We’d welcome any new offers of help in this regard with our hope that the Fairs Cup will continue for another 10 years at least.
Happy Fair Day 2012 to Queen Nicole and her Retinue.