Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service football team win two national cups

Photo credit – TWFRS FC.

What a week for Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service’s (TWFRS) football team! They’ve made a round trip of 650 miles and won two prestigious national cups in eight days.

First off, on the 9th May a team of 17 off-duty firefighters travelled from TWFRS Service Headquarters in Washington down to Nottingham to play London Fire Brigade in the English Open Age Final at the home of Ilkeston Town FC.

The team delivered a sterling performance and won 4-1, with Firefighter Alex Francis receiving the Player of the Match Award.

If that wasn’t enough, on the 16th May, they packed their kit bags and travelled to Scotland to play Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service in the British Open Age Final at Falkirk Stadium.

The close-fought game saw TWFRS FC victorious, winning the match 5-3, with Firefighter Glen Hargrave receiving the Player of the Match Award.

This was the first time in 20 years that a TWFRS football team has appeared in a national final and the first time in their history that they’ve achieved the cup double. The age range of the firefighters in the squad is between 21 and 44 years of age.

None of these sporting accomplishments would’ve been possible without the support of fellow firefighters – who kindly covered the football players’ shifts across Tyne & Wear during the cup matches.

Stewart Nicholson, Deputy Chief Fire Officer at Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service, said:

“We are extremely proud of the achievements of our service football team. To win two national accolades in eight days shows outstanding team spirit and togetherness.

“It’s always been their desire to win. The hard work the team has put in during their training was shown on the pitch and brought home the much-deserved trophies.

“We would also like to congratulate London Fire Brigade and Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service for being magnificent opponents.”

Firefighter Keith Foster is the manager of the football team and has been for the past ten years, as well as playing for the side for over two decades.

Keith, aged 44, pulled on the shirt as player-manager for Thursday’s British Open Age Group Final in Falkirk.

Firefighter Foster said: “It has been amazing. The past eight days have been a real whirlwind with two great results.

“The firefighters have put their heart and soul into those performances and were proud to represent Tyne and Wear in both finals.

“Winning these trophies is a testament to the great efforts put in by the players, and to be crowned the best fire service football team in the British Isles is the icing on the cake.

“For the team to achieve the cup double and make history for Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service is fantastic!”

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