THE HIGHWORTH Town six-a-side tournament held over the weekend has been hailed as the most successful tournament in it’s 22 year history.

The tournament, in aid of the Highworth’s senior section raised a record amount for the club and the tournament orgainsers have received plenty of positive feedback from participants.

Held over three days at the Elms the tournament had 220 teams with more than 1,700 boys and girls taking part. The organisers also hade to make some changes to the usual scheduling due to England’s opening World Cup game late on Satuday night. Sunday morning fixtures were pushed back to allow a lie-in for players undoubtedly staying up late cheering on the Three Lions.

Fraser Haines, Highworth Town’s secretary, described the tournament’s atmosphere as superb and revealed he had to turn away teams for some age groups.

“It’s the biggest one we’ve ever done. I had to turn teams away where we were full at certain age groups, I reckon on top of 220 teams taking part we turned away 30 teams,” said Haines.

“It’s the most we’ve ever raised, I’ve had so many emails and texts, saying how good it was and how well the timing worked. The weather helps, people stay and watch the quarter-finals onwards, whereas if it rains people leave after they’re knocked out.

“When you see the little ones playing it’s lovely, you even have passers by saying how great it was to see it. Football does get knocked by the councils and what have you and it’s great to have people not even connected to it giving praise.

“We had teams travel from so far away as Hampshire and Wales and to be there at 8am in the morning, it says a lot about the tournament, we always keep the timing of the games tight, a lot of that’s down to Mark Collett who does a great job.

“The atmosphere was great, really superb, I was worried about the adverse effect of the World Cup but it in the end it was the opposite. It says a lot about our football club, when we need to pull together we all do.

“Because England kicked off so late on Saturday we had to juggle it around on Sunday morning, it worked really well, despite the reshuffle.”

Haines promises to grow the tournament even further next year adding more age groups “We could probably do look to under 17s and under 18s next year, I believe it’s important to do that age group, we’ve never done a youth team tournament before, we could another 18-20 teams easily,” he said.

Haines also wished to extend his thanks to the volunteers who helped run the tournament as well as the event’s sponsor M4 VAN CENTRE.