Saturday 15th March saw over 250 people attend a massive Sport Relief event, replicating all 380 Premier League games in just 12 hours. The Anglian Home Improvements Premier League in a Day was host to 20 teams as well as the F2 freestylers who were holding a skill school for local kids and attempting to break a world record – did they succeed?
Well, what a day it was! I personally refereed throughout the morning and played the afternoon, and it is safe to say my legs are a bit tender, as I am sure all other participants are too. There were silky skills, bright boots, a few blisters and grazes, lots of Lucozade (thanks for the donation) and most importantly fantastic sporting conduct throughout the day.
With the teams raising thousands of pounds to enter this unique event, who were the title contenders giving it their all to become Premier League in a Day Champions?
Well, from very early on there were four or five teams who all looked strong – Arsenal (Kevin Piper’s team), Everton (Aviva team), Hull (Aviva team 2), Cardiff (Anglian marketing team 2) and former champions Stoke City (Anglian Central East region). After the lunch break Stoke were leading the way closely followed by the others, but it remained this way for the rest of the day as the former Premier League in a Day champions went a whole tournament unbeaten to regain the title.
The deserved winners were a mix of the Aston Villa and Swansea team who finished first and second respectively in the 2012 Premier League in a Day. As for my team, we had a slightly indifferent season, but the longer the day wore on, the more points we picked up eventually finishing a respectable 8th position, being pipped to a higher finish in the final game.
David Downes, who entered a team for the event emailed me on Monday to say – “Well done for another great Premier League in a Day, my lads can’t walk properly today, but they already want to enter again in two years.”
The special guests
To help spur the teams on throughout their gruelling fixture list – 8 minute games with a 4 minutes break to get to the next pitch – we had some very special guests throughout the day. Former Norwich City stars Bryan Gunn and Chris Sutton made appearances, along with former Leeds United manager Kevin Blackwell and former Ipswich manager George Burley.
Image sourced from the EDP
The F2 freestylers, who recently recreated the classic Nike advert in our factory, came down at lunch time and attempted to break a world record after holding a skill school for local kid’s football teams. The very talented duo first taught the local children, aged between 7 and 12, how to do some tricks before attempting to break the world record for the most amount of kick ups with the soles of their feet.
We are thrilled to say they did break the record, and it has been confirmed by the Guinness Book of Records adjudicators.
We had two other very special guests – the Premier League trophy and the FA Cup, which helped bring in more donations as people donated to have a picture with the world famous trophies.
You can still help us reach our target
We aimed to raise £25,000 for Sport Relief and the donations are now rolling in following the completion of the event. Whilst the event is over, the fund raising isn’t. Go to www.premierleagueinaday.com to bid on some unique sporting memorabilia including a signed Norwich City shirt, an England shirt signed by Roy Hodgson and a Manchester United football signed by the team.
Well done and thanks
We’d like to say a massive thank you to everyone who helped, donated, played and donated to this spectacular event. It was a long yet rewarding day, albeit it causing a few aches and pains for the next few days.
Thank you to Lucozade for hydrating everyone throughout the day, The F2 for putting on a skill school, all the teams who donated kit to play in, all the stewards, all of the referees, all of the sports massage team who kept everyone limber and to the Norfolk FA and the FDC for providing the venue. It was an unforgettable day and one we look forward to again in 2 years!