Skipper says late dad would have been proud

SUFFOLK Schools’ skipper Eliott McCall said his late father would have been proud of his achievement in reaching the final despite the result.

Steven McCall collapsed and died after offering to step in and run the line in a friendly against Cambridgeshire at Gainsborough Sports Centre in Ipswich at the start of the season.

Eliott said: “I have dedicated every match to my dad, but this is more for myself than for him. I am proud of what we have achieved and I know he would have been as well.

“But I am upset for the lads more than myself, but that is the way it goes. We will all have to lift ourselves up and move on from it.”

Suffolk goalscorer Charlie King said: “I am disappointed, because although I scored it does not make up for not winning.”

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He said of his goal, a well-taken lob over the keeper from the edge of the penalty area: “The ball fell kindly for me and I saw the keeper off his line and stuck it in.”

Suffolk manager Chris King said: “I am very proud of what we have achieved, although I don’t think we did ourselves justice today.

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“The boys have played some good football on our way to the final, but I think the big occasion got to them. Greater Manchester have got more big-game experience than us and that shone through.”

Adam Molloson, who managed the Suffolk side for two-and-a-half years before moving to a school in east Sussex at the start of this year, was in the dugout alongside King and his assistant yesterday.

He said: “I am really grateful to be invited back and be a part of the day. This group are the best bunch of boys I have worked with in 12 years as a teacher in terms of both ability and character.

“At 5-0 down I was fearing the worst, but we came back into it in the last 20 minutes.”

Norman Smith, Suffolk Schools’ long-serving secretary, said: “Considering the wealth of schools and associations from which Greater Manchester can select their team, our efforts, particularly in the first half, were very commendable.

“By no means were we outplayed, and two of their goals were fortuitous. Our boys showed their skill and gave a great performance despite the result.”

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