Young Dingers are up for the cup

The victorious Duns team
The victorious Duns team

The 2017 Live Borders Festival of Football, sponsored by NFU Mutual, Newtown St Boswells, kicked off on Sunday at the 3G Arena in Galashiels.

A whopping 120 teams participated in the event, which featured matches for girls and boys aged from five to 17 and, once again, included a girl’s section.

In total, including competitors and spectators, over 2,500 people attended.

This year’s event continued the partnership with Live Borders, the Scottish Borders Junior Football Association and Scottish HART to commemorate the death of Selkirk teenager, Cameron Gunn. A special minute of applause was held preceding the SBJFA age 15s final.

The winners of the memorial cup were Duns, who won 1-0 and were awarded the Cameron Gunn Cup for their efforts.

Participating teams at this year’s event travelled from across the region and included junior football clubs connected to: Ancrum, Chirnside, Coldstream, Duns, Earlston, Eyemouth, Gala Fairydean Rovers, Hawick, Kelso, Lauderdale, Leithen Rovers, Linton Hotspur, Melrose, Peebles, Selkirk and Tweedbank Thistle.

In addition to fun matches the festival included the Scottish Borders Junior Football Association Finals in the 13s, 14s and 15s/16s age brackets.

Ewan Jackson, chief executive, Live Borders said: “This event has gone from strength to strength and it’s a true endorsement of the power of football bringing so many people together in such high spirits.

“It showcases that football has something on offer for everyone, from those wanting to get involved in casual games to more competitive and elite levels of play.

“It takes our team months of hard work to organise the event, but always in the forefront of their minds is the memory of Cameron Gunn, who died aged just 19 whilst playing football.

“We are delighted to continue to work with Cameron’s parents, Wilma and Kenneth Gunn, to use this event to raise money for the charity, Scottish HART who raise awareness of childhood heart conditions.”

Laura Bell, Agent of NFU Mutual, Newtown St Boswells said: “We were delighted to sponsor this fantastic event which saw teams from across the Borders coming together to play football and have a great time. The event was a huge success and it was great to see so many taking part despite the uncertain weather.”

Drew Kelly, Scottish FA development officer, added: “This has been our biggest festival ever.

“It’s great to see so many parents and spectators coming along to watch the teams. The success of the event as always is down to the clubs, the coaches and volunteers and of course the players. We can’t wait for 2018.”

David Moffat, head coach of Tweedbank Thistle, added: “The festival was great, our coaches all agreed it was the best yet and we couldn’t fault the organisation of the event, Well done Live Borders.”

Cup final results were: Jack Gilchrist 13s League Cup - Earlston 1 Hawick 2; Bruce Scott 14s League Cup - Melrose 2 Kelso 6; Cameron Gunn 15/16s League Cup - Duns 1 Hawick 0.