FC Panda reap rewards of fine season

FC Panda players with their rich trophy haul
FC Panda players with their rich trophy haul

The Briggs Priestley Halifax Sunday League’s annual presentations took place in Huddersfield Amateur’s Elland clubhouse following the Invitational Cup Final and FC Panda were the clear headline grabbers.

Despite the disappointment of missing out on an unprecedented quadruple when beaten by Waiters Arms earlier in the day, they had more than adequate recompense in receiving three trophies.

They won Premier Division title from Bradshaw, the Halifax FA Sunday Cup following a Shay victory over Siddal Place and the Senior Cup, beating Waiters in the final.

Yasar Mohammad needed help in carrying the silverware, which was presented by league founder member Malcolm Barrett, who has completed his 50th and last season on the committee, League chairman Ivan Davies presided over events.

In Division One there was an impressive showing from Michael Cawood’s Southowram side Cock & Bottle. They were champions by a 10-point margin from FC Panda Reserves and beat the same side in the League Cup Final.

They also reached the semi-finals of the West Riding Sunday Trophy.

It was fitting, in the league’s 50th season, that founder members Hollins Holme won the sportsmanship trophy. It was the fifth time the club has won the award and it was collected by Chris Wilby.

Jay Carney of Lee Mount and Dayle Maguire of Ryburn Valley shared the Premier Division’s player of the year award. They were regular goal-getters and gained the same number of player of the match awards.

The Division One award was collected by Cock & Bottle front man Damian Randall. He netted 25 goals in just 12 league appearances.

There was a very deserving winner of The Ernest Illingworth Trophy, awarded for services to Sunday football in Calderdale. League secretary and vice-chair Chris Foley has put the administration of the

league on a rock-solid footing and was a resounding choice to take the award for a second time.

The referee of the year gong went to Mick Denton for an amazing 18th time. The popular official is also on the fund-raising trail. He is aiming to cycle from John 0’Groats to Lands End, covering 1,600km in nine days!

He is doing this to remember Evie-Mae Thorp and Lee Hunter, as well as raising funds for Martin House Children’s Hospice.

Anyone wishing to donate can do so at his Virgin Money Giving page. There is a link to it on the Halifax Sunday League’s Facebook page.