Charities Cup prepares to celebrate centenary
The Berwick Charities Cup is celebrating its centenary in 2022 and organisers are now taking entries.
As its name suggests, the competition raises money for local charitable organisations and each year raises thousands of pounds for good causes.
The competition, which each year is played out on The Stanks, dates back to 1922 in its current form.
But the event actually kicked off seven years earlier, in 1915, when a one-off game was arranged in June of that year.
With the Great War well underway, the Royal Scots Pipe Band paraded through the streets of Berwick, leading curious spectators to the outskirts of town to a field partly surrounded by the imposing 16th century fortified wall known as 'The Stanks.'
There, members of the Royal Scots Guards played a game of football against local team Berwick Rovers to help raise funds for the town's hospital and nurses. The military team won the game 1-0 and bucket collections totalled an impressive £8 and 10 shillings towards the charitable cause, approximately £1,000 in today's money.
It wasn’t until 1922 that the Charities Cup, originally known as the Infirmary Cup, got underway in ernest.
Unlike the one-off final held previously, this was to feature a number of teams from across the region and both sides of the border.
As a non FA-affiliated competition, it has attracted a wide range of teams over the years, from established sides looking for some extra pre-season practice, pub and works teams looking to challenge themselves and even groups of friends coming together just to take part in the occasion.
Berwick's Rugby Club has even switched codes to take part on a number of occasions!
This year’s competition will kick off on Tuesday, May 3 and entries are now being accepted, the closing date for which is Saturday, April 16. The entrry fee is £30 per team and entries can be made by contacting Berwick Charities Cup through their Facebook page.
Well known local personality, Les Chappell is chairman of the Berwick Charities Cup committee and he said: “As 2022 is our centenary year we would love to make this a competition to remember. Don’t hestitate to get in touch.”