Jack Wilshere coaches team to victory at the England Footballers Foundation Charity Cup
With just one week before the 2014 FIFA World Cup™ draw takes place, England players Jack Wilshere, Ashley Cole and Gary Cahill took time out to join the teams at the England Footballers Foundation (EFF) Charity Cup. The 8-a-side tournament, organised by the players, helps raise funds for the chosen partners of the team’s official charity.
There was even a taste of victory for first time manager Jack Wilshere who saw his team – Jack The Lads – crowned the 2013 EFF Charity Cup winners. Under the England midfielder’s leadership, the Jack The Lads went unbeaten as they played against teams led by ex-professionals and current managers including Gianfranco Zola, Dennis Wise, Stan Collymore, Mark Bright, and Matt Holland who gave up their time to support the annual tournament.
While their route to the final wasn’t all plain sailing, Jack The Lads had to survive a nervy penalty shootout to progress to the EFF Charity Cup Final where they defeated Team Roseville who were managed by former England defender, Alvin Martin. The EFF Plate was won by Canary Wharf City under the guidance of Dean Ashton as they defeated the team from The Shire London.
Jack Wilshere said: “We’ve had a really great time here today and we’ve been treated to some silky skills from the competitors – I’ve been impressed, especially by my Jack The Lads team. It’s a great achievement to go unbeaten in this type of competition.
“The tournament has been fiercely fought but the games have been played in the right spirit by everyone involved from the players to all the ex-pros who are still as competitive as ever in their role as team coaches.”
Defender Ashley Cole said: “It’s really important for us to come along to these events and see so many people coming out to support the England Footballers Foundation and our charity partners. Each charity does great work in their specific area, and we are thrilled to be able to help them by organising fundraising events like this and coming along on the day.”
Representatives from the charities who will benefit from the funds raised were present at the event. A team from The British Forces Foundation made up of players from The Yorkshire Regiment who faced a tough six month deployment to Afghanistan during 2012 jumped at the chance to defend the EFF Charity Cup title which they won last year. Also in attendance to meet their football heroes were some young football fans who were having their wishes to meet the England team fulfilled by Rays of Sunshine. The players and legend managers all took the time to speak with seven-year-old Ethan who is living with leukaemia and Hasan Rizvi (18) who has congenital heart disease.
The other charities that will benefit from the England Footballers Foundation Charity Cup are the Bobby Moore Fund for Cancer Research UK and the players own initiative the England Footballers Foundation Academy which is designed to meet the needs of disadvantaged youngsters in deprived communities. Focusing on providing them with educational, coaching and life skills, the EFF Academy aims to help tackle a variety of economic and social issues including education, crime, racial and drug abuse.