International football tournament in South Shields
South Shields is to play host to an international football tournament.
Teams from France, Germany, Spain, the Netherlands and the Czech Republic will be descending on Mariners Park, the home of South Shields FC, on Saturday, for the 15th annual International Tournament.
The participating countries take it in turns to host the seven-a-side games, which are played in a round robin format – a cup being presented to the winners and a wooden spoon to the losers.
It is the first time that the tournament, sponsored by Harlow Printing of South Shields and the Rat Inn at Hexham, has been held in the North East since 2014.
Last year’s champions from Madrid are looking to retain their trophy.
This year, they will be facing opposition from Perpignan, Berlin, Madrid, Amsterdam, Prague – and Haydon Bridge in Northumberland.
Have We Got Enough FC is representing England, after being formed more than 35 years ago.
Their European exploits began in 2005 when Newcastle University professor Volker Straub, formerly of Hamburg, organised a footballing trip to Berlin.
Links with other countries were gradually established, culminating in a truly international event.
David Thompson, club secretary, said: “This tournament is always highly competitive, with no allowance made for those of more advanced age or dubious talent, but it’s played in a great spirit and we’ve developed a lot of firm friendships over the years.”