To mark World Mental Health Day on 10th October 2016 the Croydon Eagles (Mind in Croydon’s mental health football team run by Active Minds in partnership with the Crystal Palace Foundation) stretched our resources and legs to get two teams to two tournaments on the same day.
Our old friends at ‘Love Me Love My Mind’ in Epsom held their 4th annual World Mental Health Day Charity Shield of which we were defending champions and Millwall FC Community Trust held their first mental health tournament.
Early in the morning we all met briefly at West Croydon before setting off in different directions for different days. Croydon Eagles Blues went off to a nice indoor complex at The Den, home of Millwall FC while Croydon Eagles Reds went off to outdoor pitches at Epsom (but were provided with a picnic which more than made up for the lack of a roof to play under).
The Reds at Epsom won 4-0, lost 4-0 and won 2-1 to finish third narrowly missing out on a place in the final which was played between Kingston Mind and Status Employment, Status eventually triumphing 1-0.
The Blues comfortably overcame Millwall B, Charlton B and Kempston Rangers in the group stages. Shortly afterwards Peter Rogers made his annual 30 second cameo appearance in the semi-final against Arsenal (once there was no chance he could alter the result). In the other semi-final Millwall A Beat Charlton B setting up a derby final which Croydon Eagles won 3-0.
Massive thanks go to Ben at Millwall Community and Chris at Surrey Enabling Independence Service, all the organisers, officials, teams and most of all to the players in Epsom and Millwall for coming together to raise awareness of mental health issues and the stigma surrounding them.
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