MP backs local football tournament

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A GROUP of football stars from teams including Everton, Bolton Wanderers, Fleetwood Town and Bradford City will meet for a tournament in Lytham this weekend.

But it will be a sporting event with a difference at the Seafield playing fields on Saturday as the teams competing will be made up of players with a range of disabilities.

The annual event is the brainchild of Luca Lanzani, who works as a sports coach for the Ormerod Group in St Annes and manages four football teams for disabled people on the Fylde coast.

Mr Lanzani said: “When I started, less than four years ago, I only had 13 people attending every week. Now there are more than 50 people taking part in my weekly sessions.

“Every year I organise a football tournament at Seafield in Lytham and teams from all over the UK call me or emailed about taking part.

“Big teams like Everton FC, Bolton Wanderers, Bradford City and other teams from Blackburn, Burnley and Blackpool are coming.

“I hope to have a 20 teams tournament with groups divided by the ability of the players. I already have cups, trophies and medals for everybody.”

Mr Lanzani is the manager of four teams locally: Inter St Annes, who he also coaches, All Stars Rangers, Fleetwood Town Football Club, coached by Nathan Lowings, and the Fleetwood Flyers, who are coached by Mr Lanzani’s son Charles.

The teams play in the Lancashire Disability Football League in Burnley and compete in various tournaments around the country and abroad.

Anyone who wishes to take part can show up for training at Lytham YMCA on Mythop Road on Monday evenings between 6.15pm and 7.30pm or Fleetwood YMCA on The Esplanade on Friday nights from 6pm to 7.30pm.

Mr Lanzani also runs a multisport session for people with learning and physical disabilities every Thursday evening between 5.30pm and 7pm at St Annes YMCA on St Alban’s Road. Each session costs £3.50 and is open to all, including people without disabilities.

However, the cost of running trips to tournaments is expensive and Mr Lanzani is also looking for sponsorship, with all donations welcome.

Fylde MP Mark Menzies, a patron of the Ormerod Group, added: “The work Luca does with these teams and for disabled sport in the area is to be commended.

“I know the players greatly appreciate the time and effort he puts into this role and I would encourage anyone who wants to give football a try to get involved.

“These tournaments are something all the players look forward to and I know any donations would be most welcome so would urge people to dig deep to ensure the continued success of these teams.”

For more information or to sponsor or donate to the teams contact Mr Lanzani on 07917 735528.

 

PICTURE: Fleetwood Flyers at a recent tournament in Kendall

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