World Cup kids having a ball

Action from the Halifax Courier Junior World Cup event at The Shay.
Action from the Halifax Courier Junior World Cup event at The Shay.

Dozens of youngsters from across the district had a ball at the annual Junior World Cup football tournament.

The event, which is now in its sixth year and sponsored by the Courier and other local businesses, saw more than 250 children and 16 teams from Calderdale and Kirklees take part in the two-day soccer tournament at the Shay stadium, home of FC Halifax Town and Halifax RLFC.

Saturday saw under 9s and under 10s teams battle it out, with Northowram Juniors and St Columbas winning their respective age categories.

On Sunday, younger children took part in a football festival designed to provide fun activities for those involved.

Calderdale’s Football in the Community Officer Lee Ashforth said: “It went really well. There were more than 250 kids there over the two days, and every one of them got a medal to take away.

“We also had more than 400 supporters who turned up to watch the event, so it was fantastic that so many people came down to see it.

“It was a massive bonus that it took place at the Shay because it was going to be held at Spring Hall right up until the last minute.

“It’s just unbelievable for those children to have played at the Shay. You never really got an opportunity to do that in my day unless you reached a junior final so it’s phenomenal that all the children got chance to play there.

“For kids of seven, eight and nine years of age, it’s something they’ll remember forever.”

Meanwhile, there will be half-term football on offer again at the Shay from Tuesday, May 28 to Friday, May 31 for five to 11-year-olds.

Mr Ashforth said: “We usually get 40 children a day attending. It costs £13 for one day. We get a lot of kids coming back to our other sessions so it’s very popular.”