Lycamobile Cup's final flourish

The second annual Lycamobile Cup enjoyed a fitting finale at the Boleyn Ground on Sunday
The second annual Lycamobile Cup enjoyed a fitting finale at the Boleyn Ground on Sunday, as Riverside School claimed the coveted U14s title in front of a bumper crowd of friends and family. 

After West Ham United had ended their home programme for the 2014/15 campaign against Everton on Saturday, it was then the turn of local youngsters to take to the Hammers’ hallowed turf. 

On the day, champions Riverside, who edged out Eastlea Community School in a hard-fought final, were to share the limelight with the U12 victors St Bonaventure’s School. 

The Newham-based winners, like their senior counterparts, came through a tense penalty shootout to make the final, where they narrowly defeated West Ham’s Kicks side 2-1.

The Lycamobile Cup, which was launched to great accolade last year, forms part of the longstanding relationship between Lycamobile, the world’s biggest international mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), and West Ham United. It supports the Hammers’ Foundation and grass roots community football. 

West Ham United Foundation Chief Executive, Joseph Lyons, hailed the partnership’s continued success and was thrilled with how the joint-effort had culminated in such a special day for the participants. 

“This year’s tournament has exceeded all expectations,” he confirmed. “It’s not often that youngsters get the opportunity to play at the home of their local Club and it will be a memory they cherish forever. 

“To grace a Premier League pitch and be cheered on by their family and friends is something that does not come around too often. 

“That opportunity would not have been possible were it not for the fantastic partnership we have with Lycamobile, as well as the support we have received from the Club.” 

Subaskaran Allirajah, Chairman of Lycamobile added, “The event and indeed our ongoing partnership has been a huge success. It’s very important that Lycamobile plays a part in the local community and keeping kids engaged through these types of programmes is a great way for us to show our support.”  

The tournament has seen a dramatic rise in participation since its inaugural year, with the competition doubling in size; a statistic which particularly pleased Foundation Community Sports Officer and tournament organiser George Chukwuma.

“Having been such a successful initiative last year, we’re delighted with how everything has progressed this time around.

“With the help of Lycamobile, we have been able to branch out even further and engage with schools that we would not otherwise be able to. The support we’ve received has been fantastic and I couldn’t have asked for a better finals day.”