The member clubs of London United wanted to show their appreciation and support of the National Health Service across London for their dedication and commitment, not only during pandemic lockdown, but at all times. A 6 a side football tournament was organised for both men and women, with individual clubs running preliminary knock out rounds in their local areas. The Daggers Trust joined with the West Ham Foundation at Beckton to select their teams and after two closely fought evenings of friendly competition, a women’s team from Barts Hospital, Whipps Cross and a men’s team from the Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust were chosen to represent the Daggers in the finals.
On Sunday 5th September the teams gathered at Gunnersbury Park in West London for the finals, with teams from all the professional clubs across the Capital. Work commitments unfortunately prevented a few of the women’s teams from attending on the day, but overall the competition was an outstanding success. Staff members of the Brentford FC Community Trust organised the event, other clubs played their part providing photographers and additional resources. The Premier League supplied the PL Trophy for selfie opportunities. The tournament was watched over by West Ham, Chelsea and England legend Joe Cole, with his namesake Carlton Cole and many others there to support their teams.
The Daggers Men (Pictured above from left to right) consisted of Chris Wiseman, Richard Jones, Mihai Goidescu, Lee Harris, Luca Comisi, Omar Farooqui and Matt Birch. The men, resplendent in their especially produced team kit, started shakily in their first match versus Brentford FC, giving away a goal directly from the kick off. They never recovered in that game and eventually lost the tie 3-0. They fought back well in the rest of their first round games, only dropping points to their nearest rivals Spurs and hammered QPR 4-0 in the last match to go through to the semi-final on goal difference. In that game they beat Whittington Hospital, representing Arsenal FC, 1-0 and lost narrowly to Brentford in the final 1-0, by a ‘lucky deflected goal’.
The trophies were presented by Joe Cole. The Daggers Trust would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone involved and especially all members of staff from not only the NHS pan London, but all the emergency, social and care staff for their magnificent effort over the last 18 months across the UK. We hope to see our team of footballers and their colleagues at a home game later in the season.