Red Funnel sponsored team wins 2004 Wightlink Beach Soccer Cup!
07-06-2004 The Red Funnel sponsored beach soccer team, Shalford All-Starz became the first mainland side ever to win the prestigious Isle of Wight Beach Soccer Tournament on 6 June, sponsored by Red Funnel’s cross-Solent rival, Wightlink.
Led by the club's inspirational first team captain James Brown, the All-Starz produced some exciting performances during the World Cup-style tournament with the organisers describing the final itself as "one of the best beach soccer games ever seen on the Isle of Wight". With strikers Ricky Hogsden and Jon Arthur in rampant form in attack and keeper Andy Coles proving virtually unbeatable in the Shalford goal, the side made it through to the knock-out stages of the competition and Greg Clements began to emerge as one of the players of the tournament. He was ably supported by Dave Cornelius who did well to keep a lot of big-name players quiet, including several members of the England Beach Soccer squad. In the final itself, the 'All-Starz' and local favourites 'The Bees' found themselves locked at 3-3 at the end of extra-time and so it was down to a penalty shoot-out to settle the matter. With the scores level at 2-2, up stepped Coles to calmly blast his spot-kick into the roof of the net and then, in a moment of pure sporting theatre, he brilliantly saved the very next effort by 'The Bees' to snatch a famous victory for Shalford.
The clubs Beach Soccer Manager Sam Burrows says 'We can’t believe that we have come here and won this fantastic tournament. I would like to say well done to the boys who were sensational. An even bigger thanks to Red Funnel for their support and to FTP, the event organisers for making us so welcome. Who would have thought a bunch of novices from a little village called Shalford would come here and steal the cup from under the noses of teams with far greater experience on sand and England internationals in their line ups. I am sorry to say that we will definitely be back to defend this cup next year, and we will keep our winning formula of no practising for the next 12 months!'