THE draw for the very first Bobby Lennox Challenge Cup took place last week - with four local secondary schools taking part.
As part of the ongoing campaign to have a statue built in Saltcoats in honour of Lennox, the cup will see schools battle it out to lift the trophies for the first time.
Organiser Dean McMillan said: “The Bobby Lennox Challenge Cup is to celebrate his achievements, as he’s one of the most successful players in the UK with 24 major honours, it only seems fitting that on the 50 anniversary of Saltcoats man Lennox winning the European Cup a competition is named after him.”
The competition will involve 100 kids from the four local secondary schools, Ardrossan, Auchenharvie, Kilwinning & St Matthew’s each school will have an S2 boys team to represent them in boys section & S1-3 mix to represent them in the girls section.
The semi finals will take place on Thursday, April 27 at Jacks Park all games start at 4:15pm and drinks and refreshments will be provided in the dance studio in St Matthews, the doors will be open and face on the pitch so spectators can watch then game from inside or come and go as they please.
The event is being organised in conjunction with Bruce McMaster at North Ayrshire Active Schools, who aim to offer high quality opportunities for young people in the community to be active.
Gerry McCulloch of Clyde 1 Super Scoreboard conducted the draw with a Bobby Lennox statue campaign member, Mark McClure and Pat Breen of Breen Roofing who is the main sponsor, Pat is also the chairman of Ardrossan Winton Rovers, their ground will host the final on Friday, May 5 with kick-off around 4.30pm.
The draw for the girls section was: Ardrossan vs St Matthew’s and Kilwinning vs Auchenharvie.
The draw for the boys was the same: Kilwinning vs Auchenharvie and St Matthew’s vs Ardrossan.
Dean added: “The winning teams will play in the Final which means 50 kids will take part which is very fitting given the fact it was 50 years ago Bobby won the European Cup.
“Celtic Football Club understand how big this competition is so they are sending down the European Cup for the final, we are hoping this becomes an annual event. so be sure to come along to the semi final and final and roar on your old school as anyone who’s took part in these fixtures know the bragging rights are massive. Be apart of Lennox’s Legacy.”
Bruce McMaster said: “NAC and Active Schools are delighted to be supporting this football event for secondary boys and girls to honour the achievements of North Ayrshire’s greatest ever footballer. To win 24 major honours is nothing short of remarkable. Bobby is one of the most decorated footballers of all time and is a great example for North Ayrshire’s young people of what can be done with hard work, focus and determination. Giving young people a platform to compete and be inspired to take an active lifestyle through sport is something we are very passionate about. I am sure this event will live up to expectations and deliver a terrific spectacle for all involved and one we hope will continue for many years to come”
Gerry McCulloch said: “I’m delighted to help support the Statue For Bobby campaign and the inaugural Bobby Lennox Challenge Cup. As a young football fan growing up in Saltcoats I used to watch Bobby doing sprint training on Jacks Park from my bedroom window. With such a long career at the very top level of Football he was an inspiration to many a youngster in the 60s, 70s and 80s. Bobby’s statue will act as inspiration for many generations to come and it’s only right that his legacy be marked in this way.”