Match marks centenary

A FOOTBALL organisation for schoolchildren across the county will mark its centenary with a prestigious fixture.

The Northumberland Schools FA (NSFA) has been invited to host the annual England v Scotland International Schools match at Newcastle United’s Sports Direct Arena.

One hundred years ago, a group of teachers in schools in Newcastle and Northumberland met together to form the Northumberland Schools FA with the aim of providing for ‘the mental, moral and physical development of schoolchildren through the medium of Association Football’.

It has flourished through the years and today there are many competitions, both leagues and cups, for students from under 11 to 19.

The oldest of the NSFA competitions is The Blake Cup, played for by Under 15 boys. The cup itself is a very handsome trophy donated by Sir Francis Blake of Seghill in 1912 and was first won by Seaton Delaval School.

It has been played for in every year of the NSFA’s existence and many famous players have competed for it, including Bobby and Jack Charlton, Trevor Steven, Lee Clark, Steve Bruce, Alan Shearer and Steven Taylor.

The England v Scotland game will take place on Thursday, April 12. Tickets for the match can be ordered on 07549 454651.