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Sunday 14th October 2012 ko 10.30am

Upper Thames Valley League Division 3

ABBA ATHLETIC 1 (Harwood 78)

FC HAGBOURNE 3 (Moon 19 Lawson 73 Wallsworth)

Att 12 (h/c)

Entry FREE

Nothing for sale

It was about time I did another Sunday League ground, and ABBA Athletic now play at Sunderland Drive Playing Field, in Bicester rather than at Kirtlington where I saw their Banbury & Lord Jersey side around 18 months ago. ABBA remain very much the baby of Tony Bagnall, one of the few stalwarts of local football to gain national recognition, being awarded an MBE 2 years ago. But why the name, I hear you ask? The club was originally formed as a revival of another Bicester club, Southwold but when the club was registered it was discovered that there were still unpaid fines due from the old Southwold club. Rather than face that liability the officials opted to choose another name who what to choose? It just so happened that “Money Money Money” by ABBA was playing on the radio at the time…… I’m just pleased Brian Hyland’s most famous hit wasn’t on the radio then!

ABBA, were set up and remain a real force for good. Half of all funds raised goes to charity, and Tony’s benevolent influence means the game is played for the right reasons, fun and fitness. To a backdrop of gliders taking off from Bicester Aerodrome, formerly RAF Bicester the two sides played an entertaining game, on a slippery surface. I can certainly report just how slippery, as I went flying when returning a ball!

There really wasn’t much between the two sides, besides slightly better finishing from the visitors. Jon Moon blasted home for the opener, before an exchange of goals from Andrew Lawson for Hagbourne and Wayne Harwood for ABBA maintained the one goal difference. A point would have been fair but Thomas Wallsworth stole in at the back post to give the game a slightly unrealistic margin of victory. Of course the real winners here are the legion of young people under Mr Bagnall’s guidance. Long may that continue.

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