Former England football stars thrill youngsters at Hastings tournament

Photo by Scott Saxby
Photo by Scott Saxby

Hastings played host to the annual SCI Football Festival with a celebrity spectator this bank holiday weekend.

Retired England defender Rio Ferdinand attended the SCI Football Festival at Bulverhythe Recreation Ground on Bexhill Road, to cheer his son on, and attracted a lot of attention from locals.

The England legend was said to be very humble at the event and gave his time for photographs, and to sign shirts and football boots for many of the kids – and even some of the excitable parents.

Local teams participated in the tournament, as well teams from all over the country.

Tackleway Titans under 11s put in a good performance but were unable to progress from the group stage, with Welwyn Pegasus from Hertfordshire, taking home the winner’s trophy in this age category.

Ferdinand’s son played as a goalkeeper during the tournament, and his team finished runners up.

The event stretched over four days with constant entertainment available, with a strong emphasis on providing fun and plenty of amusements for children to enjoy.

Ferdinand is said to have stayed at the Combe Haven Holiday Park, on Harley Shute Road, with his children for the duration of the tournament.

The football matches took place on Saturday and Sunday, with a presentation evening at the holiday park as a finale. Former Southampton and England striker Matt Le Tissier presented the awards.

If you missed out on this weekend, do not panic – the SCI Sussex Mitre Ultimatch Cup will return to Hastings from May 19 to 22 for another bank holiday special.

For details, visit

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