A long-running popular local charity football tournament based in Gobowen near Oswestry which raises money for Leukaemia Research reaches a notable milestone when this year’s competition gets underway on Sunday, July 7th.

The Graham Edwards Memorial Trophy is named in memory of a promising young footballer from Gobowen who played for Gobowen and Weston Rhyn, who sadly died of Leukaemia aged just 21 in 1974.

The tournament was set up the following year and so this year’s competition will be the 50th anniversary tournament.

It is one of the longest running charity tournaments in the country and a sign of its longevity is that sons and even grandsons of players who played in the first tournament have played in the tournament in recent years.

The tournament returned to its original home in Gobowen in 2014 after seven years at Park Hall, home of TNS.

Although a committee is obviously in place, organisers are still in need of volunteers to either join the committee or help out on matchdays.


A spokesman said: "We would like to appeal to supporters old and new to come down and ‘show their support.

"When the tournament first began in 1975, the survival rate for Leukaemia was around 20 per cent but with all the advances that have been made over the years, that figure has risen to around 90 per cent. However, more money is still needed to increase that figure even higher."

One feature of the grand final is that the trophy has always been presented by a football celebrity and over the years Steve Sutton, Duncan McKenzie, Steve Bull, Dixie McNeill and ex-England striker Gary Lineker to name but a few have done the honours.

The original trophy was ‘retired’ last year after showing its age after 49 years and a new trophy was very kindly donated Les and Kaye Hartshorn.

For anyone who is unable to attend any of the games but would still like to donate, there is also a JustGiving page available. This can be found by logging on to the Graham Edwards Memorial Trophy page on Facebook.

The first two games of this year’s tournament take place on Sunday, July 7th with last year’s winners Gobowen Celtic taking on Ellesmere United at 11am, followed by St Martins v The Keys, St Martins at 3pm.

Then on Tuesday, July 9th, the opening game in Group B is Morda 1975 v Llangollen Reserves at 6.30pm and that is followed on Thursday, July 11th by TNS U18s v Weston Rhyn at 6.30pm.

A very busy first week continues on Friday, July 12th with Gobowen Celtic v The Keys, St Martins at 6.30pm.

Then on Sunday, July 14th a double header sees St Martins v Ellesmere United at 11.00am followed by TNS U18s v Llangollen Reserves at 3pm.

A reminder that all the matches take place at Gobowen Playing Field on the B5069 St Martins Road in Gobowen.