Royston man guides team to homeless cup success

A ROYSTON man has guided a team to victory in a special football tournament for homeless players.

Arran Grimes, who runs the sales of Big Issue magazines at the Wintercomfort homeless shelter in Cambridge, managed a team of rough sleepers in the Tommy McLafferty Cup.

They won the ten team tournament by beating the YMCA on penalties in the final.

Mr Grimes, of Towne Road, said: “We had a great team this year and won every game without conceding a goal throughout the competition. It’s a massive improvement considering we cam last the previous year!”

“The tournament was a great success and was very well organised. We hope it will continue for a long time.”

The cup is named after a homeless man who died in 2009, and has been running for two years. It’s sponsored by Cambridge Rotary Club.

Teams taking part included Cambridge Link-up, Jimmy`s night shelter, 222 Victoria Road Hostel and the Youth Foyer in Cambridge.

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“It was great to see so many teams turning up this year,” said Mr Grimes.

“It can be a bit of a struggle to organise a team, especially as we are a day centre for rough sleepers and don’t actually have any beds.

“We had two Romanian men turn up the day before though and they were really keen to play, so that helped us out. Cambridge United were kind to us too, and gave us a training session a few days before.”

Musa Kamara, captain of the England Homeless Football Team, presented the cup and medals to the winning teams.

“The tournament can be a great stepping stone for the homeless community who are interested in football, as Muss Kamara has proved,” said Mr Grimes.

The winning players from the Wintercomfort team are due to receive their medals on the pitch at Cambridge United’s Abbey Stadium in the new season.