John Barnes in the BVI helping raise football’s profile

John BarnesFormer Liverpool, Newcastle and England legend, John Barnes departed the Territory on Sunday evening, having spent an exhilarating week fundraising and organizers believe he helped to raise the profile of football.
The week started with two youth coaching sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday afternoon. The sessions were very well attended with 110 children being coached during the two days at the A.O. Shirley Recreation Ground.
Wednesday´s session ended with lead sponsor Maples donating 65 signed John Barnes footballs and T-shirts to the children.During the evening, a 6-a-side tournament took place and saw John lacing up his boots once more to give fans and players alike a taste of what it must have been like to play against him in his younger years.

Despite coming unstuck against a slick Forbes Hare side, John’s side went on to qualify for the finals along with Digicel, Forbes Hare and Harneys. The remaining teams, Maples, Ogier, Nanny Cay and Krys Global, were left to fight it out for the plate. In the Plate, Maples came out on top with narrow victories in both the semi-final and the final. It wasn´t nearly as close in the main event though. John´s team brushed aside Harneys 2-0 in the semi final before facing Digicel, who had earlier knocked out Forbes Hare on penalties.

The final was a one sided affair as John’s team showed their class dispatching Digicel 3-0 to claim the victory in the inaugural 2013 6-a-side tournament.
While here, Barnes was also the guest speaker at the Wolues FC annual dinner on Friday at Long Bay. According to the Wolues, the event was a great success and was capped off with a $500 donation made by Long Bay to the Sea Cows Bay Manatees. The following day saw John participating in coaching sessions sponsored by AMS for the Senior Men’s National Team. John was also on hand at the BVI Football Association Awards presentation to give out the end of season awards.

“It was excellent exposure for the players and coaches alike, and was well timed ahead of the team´s friendlies at the end of the month. The week´s events were a resounding success and have gone a long way to raising the profile of football in the British Virgin Islands,” the Wolues club stated. The club added, “The exposure the children and the coaches have gained from being around John has been irreplaceable and it will go a long way to assisting them in the future.”
Whilst the final figures are yet to be announced it is thought that week raised somewhere in the region of $8,000, half of which will be donated to the Sea Cows Bay Manatees for the future development of the club.
Wolues FC In association with Maples, EMCs, Long Bay, Nagico, BCQS, Harneys, Tricor made John’s visit a success.