A team of footballing bobbies has scooped a fair play award at an international tournament held in Holland.
For the second year running a team playing as Stafford Police took part in the World Police Indoor Soccer Tournament in Groenlo. The 12-strong squad entered teams in both the over-35s and over-45s tournaments, with some playing in both.
This year 208 teams from 54 countries from all over the world took part in the competition which was eventually won by a team from Russia in the over 35s and the national police team of Croatia in the over 45s.
The team consisted of PC Keith Gordon, PC Matt Salt, PC Paul Smith, PC Nigel Clewley, PC Mark Napier, PC Gareth Hilditch, Sgt Daryl Kenny, PCSO Neil Williams, Sgt Jez Heath, PC Ian Deans , Ash Connor and Special Sergeant Rob Chell. All of the players covered their own expenses and took part in their own time.
They faced tough opposition as some Eastern European countries fielded national teams and Kazakhstan sent its Olympic squad. Despite this, they gave a decent account of themselves and played to the best of their ability. The over-35s team was awarded the Fair Play trophy, which was voted for by the referees and match officials who had presided over the group.
Sgt Jeremy Heath said: “Although we didn’t actually manage to win a match, we did make many friends and we were pleased to be awarded the Fair Play Trophy.
“There were 45 teams in the over-35s so it was an honour for us to be recognised in this way. No doubt it reflects Staffordshire Police in a very good light internationally.”
The team paid all their own expenses and the players took part in the tournament in their own time.
Pic cap: Stafford Police (in navy tracksuits) with their fair Play trophy and some new friends from Hanover Police.