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Report: Ollie Feast Charity Match
Sports writer, Bradley West, reports on a thrilling match between UoB history staff, students and alumni in memory of Ollie Feast
On the final Thursday of term, Thursday 23rd March, the annual Ollie Feast Charity Cup once again took place on the Bournbrook pitches in what was two hours of great fun for an equally great cause. The game is run annually by the History Society football team, and features appearances from History staff and alumni alike, to commemorate the sad passing of former History student and History society goalkeeper Ollie Feast in 2015.
All money raised in the build-up to and after the match has been donated to the Ollie Feast Trust, a charity set-up in Olli’s honour by his family. Money was raised on via its gofundme page (link at the bottom of the article) and also during the event through a well-supported cake sale.
The Ollie Feast Trust exists to celebrate the life and legacy of Ollie by carrying forward his sense of justice and belief in the underdog as well as his passion for sport and travel. As such, the OFT seeks to make grants in order to support the education and development of young people in Cambridge, to assist young people in their personal development specifically through sport and travel and to help individuals set up relevant businesses.
“The Ollie Feast Trust exists to celebrate the life and legacy of Ollie by carrying forward his sense of justice and belief in the underdog as well as his passion for sport and travel
The OFT runs summer sports camps in order to provide relevant skills and aid the personal development of young people from less socio-economic backgrounds who maybe would not otherwise have such a chance. In addition, the OFT offers bursaries to older students (aged 16-19) in order to help individuals, who also may not have the chance otherwise, travel the world in order to spread charitable good will further afield.
In this, the fourth annual running of a History staff/student charity match, and third in Ollie’s honour, the established order was shaken up a little. Previous years had seen student sides dish out comprehensive thrashings of the staff elevens, and so, the teams were mixed up this year. The two sides, the White team and the Black team, squared off against each other with a combination of students, staff and alumni on either side. The White team, captained by Ryan Stiles, featured a formidable student/staff line-up with the likes of Matt Chapman and lecturers Elaine Fulton and Dan Whittingham on board whilst the Black team, captained by Callum Male, also contained the combined talents of the likes of Sam Jobling and lecturers Chris Callow and Matthew Francis.
“Ollie Fearn scored a nice opener for the White team past the goalkeeper whilst Elliot Freer was influential in the build-up to the Whites' second before setting up an easy tap-in for the third with a cheeky no look pass
It was the White team that dominated on the day though, displaying a mix of robust power in defence and delicate flair further up the field. This was especially in evidence in a first half in which the White team took control of proceedings, taking a 3-0 lead into the break through a succession of well-built moves. Ollie Fearn scored a nice opener for the White team past the goalkeeper whilst Elliot Freer was influential in the build-up to the Whites' second before setting up an easy tap-in for the third with a cheeky no look pass. In truth, it could have been more as the White team also hit the post however the Black team began to grow into the game as the match went on, especially in the second half, as they managed to keep a greater share of possession and create several more chances on goal. Captain Callum Male looked to spark a comeback early in the second half with a lovely free kick routine, exchanging the ball with Sam Jobling before caressing a superb side footed shot into the top corner.
Despite a spirited, improving performance and a second goal later in the half from the Black team, this was not enough to prevent Stiles’ side continuing to chip away with several composed finishes to extend their lead. One of the biggest cheers of the day came with the game’s final goal as student Alex Watson-Lee, cheered on by his loyal legion of fans on the touchline, came out of his comfort zone playing in goal to score in a goal line scramble sending the crowd into rapture and the White team into an unassailable lead. The final score reflected the White team’s dominance, a 6-2 victory over the Black team who were second best all game. The result in the bag Ollie’s dad, Steve, once again was in attendance to present the trophy to the winning White team and the Man of the Match award to Redbrick Sport’s own Nancy Frostick for a controlled display from the centre of midfield.
“Despite a spirited, improving performance and a second goal later in the half from the Black team, this was not enough to prevent Stiles’ side continuing to chip away with several composed finishes
The day as a whole was another outstanding success, with around £300 raised up to this point for the Ollie Feast Trust. Ryan Stiles, one of History’s intermural captains, reflected on this triumph stating: “All of us were really pleased with the day. There was a great turnout from staff and students of the university, players of all ages enjoyed the spectacle. As well as this, the cake sale tempted many to donate more, and we even had some lovely weather – all in aid of a progressive and supportive charity.” As ever, the event was superbly organised and was another fitting way to remember Ollie. We look forward to next year’s event where further funds will be raised for the trust and Ollie’s life will continue to be celebrated.
Of course, the Charity continues to take donations for the event and any will be very greatly appreciated for a worthy cause that looks to directly benefit young people. The donation link is: https://www.gofundme.com/the-annual-ollie-feast-charity-match