SWINDON Town players took to unknown ground as they grappled to master the art of table-top football in a fast-paced match for Sport Relief yesterday.

Kayden Jackson, Louis Thompson, Tyrell Belford and Jack Stephens kicked off today’s national charity campaign a day early by competing in UK Shared Business Services’ (UK SBS) Sport Relief Table Top Football Cup, which saw the sportsmen face the firm’s employees.

Their best efforts, however, failed to win them the champion’s trophy in the two five-a-side fixtures.

The event marked the launch of the not-for-profit firm’s Sport Relief Call Centre, which will operate from its offices today.

Throughout the week employees vied for a chance to compete against the Swindon Town FC pros.

Following a series of highly contested heats, four outstanding table-top football players – Tom James, Ben Snell, who formed the Bassett Sixth Form Team, Tony Claxton and Steve New, or NewClax United, were selected.

They beat the football stars 17 to 2 and 22 to 5 respectively.

Still heady from his crushing victory, Tom, a 26-year-old grants performance leader at UK SBS, said: “Ben and I went to Wootton Bassett School together and instead of doing General Studies we played table football, so we are seasoned players.

“I don’t think the Swindon Town players could handle the pressure.”

His partner and fellow grants performance leader Ben, 27, added: “Our training paid off. We wanted to stop them scoring and that’s what we did. We thought they played table football a lot, but obviously not.”

Although disappointed at the club’s defeat, goalkeeper Tyrell was keen to raise awareness of the charity.

“We are very disappointed,” he said. “This is definitely harder than football. But we wanted the club to get behind this to raise awareness of Sport Relief.”

Team-mate Kayden said: “Unfortunately we only practice with our feet, not our hands. It was a fun match when we weren’t losing so much. It is for a good cause and it was good to get out there and represent the team.”

Around 100 UK SBS staff have volunteered to take donation calls from around the country tonight.

Jonathan Preece, UK SBS chief executive, said: “We have held charity events throughout the week for Sport Relief.

"The table football match was a way to promote the call centre and make sure people donate through the phone line and raise money for charity. This marks the start of an exciting 24 hours for us.”




  • Wake and Shake at Convingham Park Primary School, 9am.
  • Swimathons at Lime Kiln Leisure, Centre, Highworth Rec, and Faringdon Leisure Centre, all day
  • Row-athon at Kingsdown School, 8.40am to 2.40pm
  • Sport Relief Mile, all day at Churchfields Academy


  • Swimathons at Lime Kiln Leisure, Centre, Highworth Rec, and Faringdon Leisure Centre, all day


  • Swimathons at Lime Kiln Leisure, Centre, Highworth Rec, and Faringdon Leisure Centre, all day
  • Sainsbury’s Coat Water Mile – one-mile event at 11am and 11.15am, three-mile event at 10.45am, and six-mile event at 10.30am


  • Cricklade Mile Run at Cricklade Leisure Centre – one mile event at 9.45am, three-mile event at 9.30am, and six-mile event at 9.30am