Runcorn police stage football tournament for 1,200 children

Around 1,200 children and nearly 100 teams are expected to take part in the first community football tournament organised by Runcorn Police Station for 40 years.

The free event – known as KOPS n’ Kids –  at Runcorn Linnets’ pitches in Stockham Lane, Murdishaw, has been funded by the Steve Morgan Foundation and will involve 98 teams from Runcorn, Widnes, Ellesmere Port, Warrington and Liverpool.

Comedy star and keen footballer John Bishop took part in the last KOPS ‘n’ Kids 40 years ago in 1981.

This year’s event takes place over two weekends on July 3-4 and July 10-11 between 9am-3pm and will be for boys, girls and mixed teams.

The Steve Morgan Foundation has provided a total of £9,984 in funding, which will cover the cost of officials, medals, trophies, equipment and an online results system.

Chief Inspector Leeroy Moss, of Runcorn Local Policing Unit (LPU), said as well as being great fun the event will strengthen relationships between young people and the police.

“The lockdowns caused by the Covid-19 pandemic temporarily prevented us from providing a range of fun activities for the children of Runcorn to enjoy during school holidays,” said Chief Insp Moss.

“Now that the restrictions have eased, KOPS ‘n’ Kids is coming back with a mammoth football tournament that will be held at Runcorn Linnets’ football pitches over four days.

“I can’t thank the team at Runcorn Linnets Junior Football Club enough for agreeing to host the event for free.

“The same goes for the Steve Morgan Foundation for paying all the other costs involved with hosting a football tournament, such as the referee fees, trophies for the winning teams and the medals that each participating player will receive, and for Halton Speak Out for securing the funding on our behalf.

“I would also like to thank Everton in the Community for agreeing to send some of their coaches to the tournament for the benefit of the children that will be there, and fellow partners Onward Homes for supporting the event too.”

PCSO Georgina Griffiths, who has helped to organise the event at Runcorn LPU, said: “We believe it to be the first community football tournament that the police station has organised in 40 years.

“We have a photograph of participants of a tournament the station ran in the summer of 1981, on the same pitches in Murdishaw. It includes comedy star John Bishop.

“We would like to invite everyone in the photograph to come to the tournament in July as special guests.

“It would be great if we could take a photograph of them so that we have then and now photos.

“If you or someone you know is in the photograph, please call me on 01606 365596 or email me at georgina.griffiths@cheshire.pnn.police.uk.”

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