Football cup victory is just the business

Doncaster Business Cup 2013 at the Keepmoat Stadium - Team Plant celebrate victory. Picture: Shaun Flannery/shaunflanneryphotography.com

Doncaster Business Cup 2013 at the Keepmoat Stadium - Team Plant celebrate victory. Picture: Shaun Flannery/shaunflanneryphotography.com

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Forget the Ashes, the Tour de France and Andy Murray winning at Wimbledon, in Doncaster there’s only been one sporting highlight of the summer.

And that’s two teams going head to head for the annual charity fundraising Doncaster Business Cup which this year netted an amazing £6,000 for good causes.

The brainchild of Doncaster businessman Dave Plant, the contest is now in its third year and nearly 40 players signed up to take part in a full 90-minute match at Doncaster Rovers’ Keepmoat Stadium.

He said: “It is all a bit of fun but at the same time, it has a very serious side in that we like to raise a lot of money for charity.”

And this year, with the contest now in its third outing, three separate groups collected payouts from the match, held in sweltering conditions earlier this week.

Cancer charity Firefly, the South Yorkshire Community Foundation and Doncaster Rovers Community Foundation all stand to benefit from the tournament.

Added Mr Plant, managing director of Moirae Creative: “The idea came about a few years back when I did the Inca Trail with some Doncaster Rovers players.

“I needed to raise some sponsorship money and it has just gone on from there.

“Last year we raised £5,000 for Aurora and this year we have done even better.”

The two teams - managed by Mr Plant and fellow businessman Gary Rogers - have spent the last 12 weeks training and preparing for the big match, and this year Team Plant secured a 3-1 victory.

He said: “It isn’t just about playing football and having a laugh. It is about business networking too - some of the players have done business together while preparing for the game.”

The two managers spent weeks preparing their players and everyone involved gets to keep their kit from the match.

He added: “We tried to pick it so it was a very even game, but this year, my side came out on top.”

Team Plant picked up a trophy, medals and a bottle of champagne for their victory, with family, friends and colleagues cheering them on.

“Everyone had good fun and not too many aches and pains afterwards,” he said.

Chance for footballers to shine and raise charity cash

The Doncaster Business Cup was first staged in 2011 and has now become an annual event.

Players have to pay £200 to take part in the game, with registration and selection taking place three to four months ahead of the match.

The players get the full-on matchday experience - using the Doncaster Rovers’ Keepmoat Stadium dressing rooms as well as playing a full 90 minutes on the club’s hallowed turf.

This year’s game attracted an attendance of 487 people - with former Premiership referee Andy Hogg acting as matchday official.

For more details about the cup, sponsored by Bawtry’s Crown Hotel, visit the group’s Facebook page or log on to www.doncasterbusinesscup.co.uk

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