Hammers stars show their support at Lycamobile Cup finals
West Ham United stars turned out to support local schoolchildren at the finals of the season-long Lycamobile Cup this week.
The competition for schools from across east London and Essex reached its conclusion in the shadow of London Stadium nine months on from its launch, with first teamers Michail Antonio, Sam Byram and Josh Cullen, along with Academy stars Marcus Browne, Dan Kemp and Grady Diangana on hand to cast their eye over proceedings.
Since August, more than 600 pupils have battled it out at Under-12 (Year 7) and Under-14 (Year 9) age groups for the right to contest the finals, with St Edwards emerging triumphant in the younger category and Heathcote in the elder.
The 2017/2018 season marked the fifth year of the Lycamobile Cup, which forms part of the longstanding partnership between Lycamobile, the world’s largest international mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) and West Ham United.
Since its inaugural year in 2013/2014, the Cup has played an important role in the local community, celebrating the next generation of footballing talent from across the area and encouraging youngsters to achieve their goals.
West Ham United defender Sam Byram was delighted to attend the finals day and hoped the presence of the Hammers stars would serve as inspiration to the youngsters involved.
“It’s great for the kids, especially, to come to the stadium and play on the pitch in a tournament like this,” he said. “For the club to be involved, it shows we’re working in the community and helping the kids and the schools play in a good competition which is enjoyable for them.
“I watched the matches and the tournament was of a good standard, a lot better than when I remember being their age! It’s good fun watching them and seeing who looks a player and who’s done well.
“When I was younger I always looked forward to meeting professional players who came to events like this so I think it’ll definitely give them an encouraging boost to see that we’re watching and involved.”
Lycamobile head of sponsorship and events Ksenia Sossak added: “We were glad to be there on a nice sunny day to watch the kids play football. It’s the fifth year of the Lycamobile Cup and this ties in very well with our partnership with West Ham.
“We’re looking forward to doing more fun years of the Lycamobile Cup with the West Ham United Foundation.
“Lycamobile is all about engaging with communities and events like this help us to get closer to them and their families.