Two unofficial football teams, made up of workers here on the Isle of Gran Canaria, got a game together over the summer to try and raise a bit of money for The Long Walk charity event in which many of them have agreed to participate at the end of September.
The Anfi OPC All-Stars locked horns with The TUI Rep Selects for their first ever game in this newly formed charity league aimed at friendly football and community action from the grass roots level. Trying to inspire a bit of friendly rivallry and sportsman like behaviour while helping a great cause here on the island.
The game was organised by gentleman’s agreement between OPC man of action, Sir Trevor Sanderson, and veteran Holiday Rep, John Simpson, to get people talking about Breast Cancer and to work together to gain some valuable contributions, in support of the upcoming events at the start of October raising awareness and funds for the Canarian charity association, ACCM. Both teams were hand picked by the boys and all the players chipped in with their own cash to pay for a Maspalomas Campo de Football pitch on which to stage the evening showdown.
As for the game itself the Rep’s John Simpson tells us “We were beaten , bruised and man handled at times by the OPC’s experienced players and often found ourselves chasing shadows.”
The Reps opened the scoring and their youthful team looked set to take charge of the game with plenty of pass and movement working well between Wheatley and Espada although the OPCs equalised almost immediately after Caceres’ opener and it became apparent that the Reps not having their first choice goalie would perhaps be the undoing of their hard work as the game moved on.
Caceres and Wheatley scored to see the Reps race into a 3-1 lead but the OPCs had other ideas and gained control of the midfield racing suddenly into a 6-3 half time lead.
The Reps had lost their shape and constant substitutions did not help as players were out of position and the OPCs were always looking to add to their goals, with their bright young winger and target man Sanderson who the Reps did well to control at times.
Wheatley and Caceres scored 2nd half goals and the Reps looked to get close at 9-6 only for the OPC team to show them the mark of experience and have the final say with an injury time goal to put the icing on the cake for this veteran team…
The score did not reflect the abundant sportsmanship on show and high tempo of this game but the second leg on Sept 18th is likely to prove much closer, or so say the Reps. A fast paced first half saw the lead change hands several times as the experienced OPC vets edged home to win 10-6 at the final whistle.
A great first crowd turned out to support their respective teams, despite a lack of advance information, with high-energy rabble rousing and expert coordination from Satti Kaur having organised prizes from various bars, restaurants and other establishments, including a handsome 100€ donation from Luis Molina of Anfi water sports. Satti, and her sons, sold raffle tickets to the assembled spectators and carried out the prize draw ceremonies after the game. The end figure announced was €169 to be added to The Long Walk fund. Great Work!
A rematch was agreed, with several players committing to take part in The Long Walk and with the second leg of this exciting community action set for mid-september on the Arguineguín sports fields, the Breast Cancer charity funds are expected to swell with more charity prizes and donations being pledged.
The OPCs and Reps will play their second leg at 8.30pm on Friday September 18th, where the plan to collect more funds, sell more tickets and most importantly raise more awareness about the work being done on the island to help breast cancer sufferers and their families. We know they’d love you to come down, take part and cheer them on. You never know you might win a prize or two yourself.
Check out our competition below…