Leek Town’s fans, players and officials are looking forward to the start of a three day beer festival on Friday at the home of the EVO-STIK League’s Blues and the return of a popular charity tournament after nearly three decades.
After beating Leek CSOB 2-1 at Pointon Park last weekend to retain the Chris McMullen Memorial Trophy, the Blues are hosting The Leek Post Charity Shield, last played nearly three decades ago in 1998.
Running from Friday 28 to Sunday 30 July, the four team tournament running alongside the beer festival will see the Blues bidding to beat neighbours Leek CSOB, Ball Haye Green and Staffordshire Moorlands to the newly restored silverware.
The competition kicks off at 7.30pm on Friday night when the Blues take on Ball Haye Green before Leek CSOB and Staffordshire Moorlands meet in a 6pm kick-off on Saturday.
To raise as much as possible for good causes, Leek Town Vets are also taking on a Leek Town All Stars XI in a lunchtime kick-off at Harrison Park on Sunday before the tournament’s final kicks off at 4pm on Sunday.
Leek Town chairman Jon Eeles and friends Daryl Biddulph, Anthony Knight and Steve Rutter joined forces earlier this summer to resurrect the tournament with the profits going to the Kieran Rutter Legacy Fund, set up by the latter after his son’s passing to raise funds in his memory for local charities and good causes.
Turnstile charges, which include entrance to the beer festival, are £3 on Friday and Saturday and £5 on Sunday. The Blues, who’ve been offering local businesses and organisations the chance to sponsor a barrel at the beer festival for £100, are also offering a £10 special advance ticket covering all three days.
A Blues spokesman said: “The Harrison Park event promises to feature a fabulous weekend of fine beer and good football.”
Last weekend’s annual memorial match was held to mark the unexpected passing of former Blues skipper McMullen in September 2012 at the age of 52.
The son of former Leek Town physio Martin Parr and his wife Diane, McMullen played over 400 games for Leek Town and proudly led the team out at the old Wembley in the 1990 FA Trophy final against Barrow.
After injury ended his playing career in the 1992-93 season, he went on to enjoy a successful spell as manager of Leek CSOB, where he later became chairman.