Wokingham & Emmbrook FC skipper raises cash for Comic ReliefBy Adam Lee
March 16, 2011
A local non-league footballer has done his bit for this year’s Red Nose Day appeal, by doing what he knows best – playing football.
Tom Hopper, 26, is the captain of Hellenic Premier Division side Wokingham & Emmbrook, and also organised and managed a charity football tournament at Goals Soccer Centre in Woodley on Sunday.
Hopper, who is known as a composed, but no-nonsence centre-half in local football circles, showed he also has a heart of gold as he helped to raise nearly £900 for the BBC appeal.
The competition was part of an initiative at the company he works for, Cisco Systems Ltd based in Feltham, where Hopper and some of his work mates were asked to organise fund raising events.
The former Forest pupil managed to sign up eight teams at a cost of £70 per side and, with Cisco promising to double his takings, Hopper’s fundraising event generated an impressive £860.
And he couldn’t have been happier with the outcome.
“The company I work for does a lot for Red Nose Day and with me playing football, orgainsing a tournament kind of made sense,” he said.
“Goals gave us a really good deal on the pitches and also donated a trophy so they have been really supportive.
“We managed to keep costs to a minimum, and all the money we raise for Red Nose Day the company doubles so all in all it wasn’t bad for one afternoon’s work.”
The eight teams were split into two groups of four, with the top two from each group playing each other in a play-off cup competition, with the bottom two from each group playing each other in a plate competition.
It was an all-Wokingham final in the cup competition, but in the end Wokingham B were too strong for the A team and they took the trophy.
Meanwhile in the plate competition Aneil’s Massive Arse claimed victory over runners-up Slimjim Athletic.
And although Hopper was delighted with the tournament, he couldn’t hide his disappointment after his side, Real All Stars, lost out in the third-place play-off in the cup competition.
“It all went to plan, everyone had fun and then we went into the bar for a couple of beers afterwards,” said Hopper.
“The only thing that wasn’t a success about it was that my team didn’t win!
“I’ve already had a few emails from people saying that I should make it an annual event, though.
“It was quite hard work organising it, but everything worked well in the end and I’d definitely do it again.”