BEDALE AFC has announced that the three charity memorial football games played at the Heck Stadium, have all been cancelled due to the current Covid-19 restrictions.

The Mark Ward Memorial Cup is played for annually between Bedale AFC and teams from the Hillsprint Hambleton Combination or the Wensleydale Creamery League, the two leagues Mark refereed in.

The Danny Davies Memorial Cup is played between U18 teams from Bedale, Darlington and Northallerton and the Will Abbottson Memorial Cup is played between the Old Black Swan and Bedale AFC, teams that Will played in goal for.

The Heck Challenge Cup, is played between Bedale AFC and the Heck FC team as the final pre-season warm-up match but since this has also been postponed, the trophy was awarded to the winners of the One Heck Of A Challenge races to Barcelona and Bangkok.

Bedale AFC’s players have been maintaining their fitness by running the equivalent mileage from the Heck Stadium to the Nou Camp Stadium in Barcelona. Three teams of players have been competing in the Bedale to Barcelona Challenge, a 1,154mile event, by logging their daily training runs taken in isolation during the month of June. Wearing three sausage-themed kits provided by local sponsors Heck Food, the winners of the event were the Sausage squad made up of 18 first team players, who narrowly pipped Team Hot Dog, comprised of 14 club officials and supporters. Third placed were a team of 18 ex-players known as the Honky Tonks who cycled the equivalent of Bedale to Bangkok, a distance of 11,986 miles. Completing the challenge were the Bangers and Mash squad made up of 11 reserve team players.

Top individual performers during the event were Ricky Schofield, the first team goalkeeper, who completed 244 miles, and captain Ross Hodgson at 125 miles, whilst Andy Reaks, with 220 miles, provided the driving force for Team Hot Dog. Stu Service clocked an impressive 400 miles for the Bangers and Mash team. For the Honky Tonks cyclists, Martyn Coombs and John Marshall pedalled 1,401 and 1,267 miles respectively all the way to Barcelona and then onwards to Gibraltar before crossing to Tangier in Morocco then on to Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Kuwait, Iran, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Burma before arriving in Bangkok having covered 11,986 miles.

Dave Goodwin, Bedale AFC first team manager, said: “We’ve had 60 people participating in this event, some running once a week, others running every day, mostly around Bedale and Northallerton but with some of the players in the club being key workers, some of the runs have been undertaken in London, Scotland , Wales and Newcastle. We had four members of the Caisley family clocking up miles, with brothers Dan and Andy completing the event for their teams only 2.5 miles apart at the finish. As ever we are indebted to Heck Foods for their unwavering support, it’s really important for local businesses to stay connected to voluntary sport in these difficult financial times “

The event has helped keep players fit during lockdown, and recently as things have relaxed a little the Football Association has allowed footballers across the country to start social distance training in small groups.

Sausage Squad – Ross Hodgson, Ricky Schofield, Danny Evans, Dan Caisley, Colin Anderson, Matt Goodwin, Michael Stevens, Michael Gunnell, Jack Stapley, Josh Fullarton, Matthew Tew, Saul Bamber Lister, Sam Bamber Lister, Steven Butterworth, Mark Hemingway, Lewis Self, Sam Vernalls, Curt Tasker

Team Hot Dog – Steve Caisley, Ian Richardson, Alex Caisley, Andy Caisley, Andy Reaks, Andy Logan, Damon Reaks, Callum Fletcher, Duane Fletcher, Penny Fletcher, Tasha Hartley, Helen Anderson, Rick Hemingway, Jonny Morris.

Honkey Tonk Cyclists – Matty Allison, Steve Anderson, Simon Grayson, Paul Grayson, Martyn Coombs, Michael Robinson, Joff Kirby, Stephen Hall, Dicky Megson, Adam Coombs, John Marshall, Andrew Rickard, Dave Mills, Nigel Walker, Jonny Coombs, Simon Muir, Charlie Banks, Matty Gibb.

Bangers and Mash Team – Al Pattison, Stu Service, Reece Bickerton, Sergio MacNaughton, Al Beatty, Josh Fitter, Dave Proud, Lee Sellar, James Kitchenman, Simon Marshall, John Henry.