Sir Trevor Brooking’s guest appearance marked the 10th anniversary of the prestigious Amrut Cup on Sun 24th Sept 2006 at St Margaret’s Sports Centre, Leicester. The legendary ex-England and West Ham United player was greeted with rapturous applause by the hundreds of spectators as he was welcomed in the traditional Hindu manner with Yogvivek Swami applying a chandlo to his forehead. Shrihari Swami inaugurated the tournament by lighting a divo (lamp), before Yogvivek Swami delivered inspiring words of encouragement, emphasising teamwork and unity.
In his address, Sir Trevor Brooking said, “The age group of 15-23 years is what fascinated me about this tournament. This is an age where many youngsters drift away, and are faced with personal problems. To organise a competition with this age group is a great credit to you. This is all about communication, friendship, teamwork and making new contacts”.
Prior to kicking off, Shrihari Swami applied chandlo to all the team captains while Sir Trevor presented them with their pennants. He toured the pitches during the group matches. Praising the growth of the tournament, Sir Trevor commented on the organisation, atmosphere and discipline of the Amrut Cup.
With a total of 30 teams participating from all over the country, the atmosphere to the showpiece final between Harrow and Leicester was building rapidly. Leicester started brightly before Harrow dominated, missing great chances to lead. With only seconds remaining, an opportunist strike from Leicester’s Nikesh saw the home team win amid scenes of jubilation from Leicester players and supporters. The awards and medals along with the prestigious Amrut Cup were presented to the winning team and players by Peter Bonetti, ex-England and Chelsea goalkeeper. The individual awards for best player and top scorer were presented to Sandeep (Harrow) and Hari (Leicester) respectively, with Himesh (East) scooping the prize for top keeper.
All in all, it was a great day for all the families attending with the sun shining in all its glory despite a rainy start to the day.