Over 120 players took to the football pitch on Saturday, September 7, for the annual antique and fine art industry five-a-side tournament. The event raised £16,000 for The Haven Breast Cancer Support Centres, the best ever total in its 11-year history.
Despite earlier forecasts the sun came and stayed out for what seemed like the last day of England's summer as 21 teams from all over the UK rolled in to the Wandle Recreation Centre in South London.
Representing the auctioneers were Adam Partridge, two Bonhams teams, Christie's, Cuttlestones, Criterion Auctioneers, East Bristol Auctions, Ewbank's, Noble Investments, two Phillips teams, Rosebery's with excitable cheer squad, Sworders and two Sotheby's teams sporting new rebranded kit.
Dealer teams included Flaxman Fine Jewellery, Lennox Cato and the new and enthusiastic Petworth Dealers' Association team.
Industry providers also played their part with new teams from ATG Media, Alban Shipping and Cadogan Tate.
Sotheby's A remained undefeated throughout the league matches, knocking out fellow Londoners Phillips and Christie's to take them to the final against Bonhams' on-form A team. But they could not be beaten. Sotheby's played an astonishing match beating Bonhams 7-1 to retain the trophy for the second consecutive year. More impressive was the perfectly packaged Lennox Cato Cup that the Sotheby's porters so carefully unwrapped for the day - only to re-package and to take back to Bond Street in the end!
Regional auctioneers Cuttlestones of Wolverhampton took on Adam Partridge from Macclesfield to win the plate trophy in an incredibly close match 3-2.
Player of the tournament, scouted by two of the four referees, was Jack Brydon of Adam Partridge, who scored three goals in one match and effortlessly played eight games with no subs.
After a long day players and spectators were shuttled to Criterion Auctioneers on the 'Rent a Routemaster' vintage and disco buses for the presentation, raffle and auction. The party went well into the evening with Sean's Irish rock band playing, drinks courtesy of Barefoot Wine and a French BBQ from the Gazette restaurant.
The entire event could not have been possible without the generosity of the principal sponsors ATG Media, Borro and Sotheby's. Further thanks for donations made by Capes Dunn, Dickins Auctioneers, Sworders and Symbolic & Chase.
A special mention to my fellow committee members - Emma Payne (The Haven), Addison Gelpey (Criterion Auctioneers), Ed Flaxman (Flaxman Fine Jewellery) and Lawrence Bright (ATG Media) - who donated their time and expertise to pull off yet another fun-tastic tourney.
The aim for next year's event is to gain even more industry players for a 24-team tournament. There's also talk of a women's league, so start your squad training soon!
By Marika Clemow