An enjoyable morning for all those who took part, it was fine weather, 6 teams keen and eager to take play and enjoy the fantastic surfaces courtesy of the hard work of the JLS groundsmen, Chris Lynch and Mark Chandler in preparing the pitches for the matches.
Many thanks to those that got their teams together, Ali Fraser's (OL 1982-84) Chairman's X1 captained by the OL Football Club 1st team captain Charlie Tizard (OL 2002-09) and containing many of the OL's 1st team that play regularly each week in the Southern Amateur league. A School X1 organised by Rob Rice and containing a few members of the teaching staff, including Mr Rice, Mr Ling and Mark Chandler one of the school grounds men. Ben Gill (OL 1999-06) for getting a team together from his year group and the one below, all now approaching their late 20's and a team arranged by Alex Sloan (OL 2006-11) from his year group, all now in their mid 20's. It was decided for the first time to play a quadrangular tournament between these four teams as all have been coming back for the last four years and wanted to play against both the school X1 and the Chairman's X1. We also managed to located the Boxing Day Trophy donated by Douglas Woodbridge first played for in 1960 between the OL's and Pinner on Boxing Day and last presented in 1971.
Two late additional teams to the day include a Vice Chairman's X1 recruited by Ian Dennison (OL 1990-95) and a team arranged by former Head Boy, Josh Banks (OL 2007-14) from his year group. With substitutes we had over 80 OL's playing on Boxing Day morning. The games were all very competitive and all played in a great spirit, overseen by Keith Chamberlain and his team of referees including Sachin Patel the OL Football Club fixture secretary. The tournament was won by the Chairman's X1, who won all three of their games, captained by Charlie and the cup was presented to him by OL John Williams (1952-59) who played in that first Boxing Day match in 1960.
There was a very good crowd on the day with many parents of the present school boys, parents of OL's playing, staff, OL's and recent OL's down to watch their friends in action.
The Lyonian Pavilion was very busy for a number of hours after the game, with much conversation and catching up. A buffet was put on this year for the players after the matches, many thanks to the ladies for preparing and serving. Many thanks to Keith Palmer for making sure that the bar was well stocked, enjoyed by many OL's until the late afternoon.
Many thanks to Mr Ling for his support in setting up for the day and special mention to Michelle Gascoine for all the publicity in arranging the event. Next year all the teams will play for the Boxing day Trophpy and all captains have expressed a wish to have their team play again.