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Premier League star gives Keele Cup seal of approval


Stoke City defender Danny Higginbotham has spoken of his ‘great memories’ of playing in the Keele International Cup in an exclusive interview for the official programme.

Britain’s largest international football tournament for boys, girls, men and women is less than two weeks away and excitement is building as the Keele University campus awaits the arrival of teams from across the world.

Higginbotham was part of a successful Stretford Victoria side that competed at the old Manchester University site under the competition’s old name of the Umbro Cup.

His former club are back for this year’s tournament in the Class F category and his message to all the players and teams is to make the most of their Keele experience.

“First and foremost it’s exciting,” he told Wear The Shirt, who are producing the official tournament programme. “You get to play teams from other countries and that is very different to your normal fixtures over the season.

“It also feels as if you are representing your country and that is great for any footballer.”

The tournament, near Stoke-on-Trent, starts on Wednesday, July 27, with the boys and girls kicking off their first round matches. The finals are scheduled for Saturday, July 30.

The Men’s and Veterans tournaments are then held the following weekend

The full Danny Higginbotham interview can be read in the official tournament programme, which is available at the event and has a fresh look from previous years.

Keele Cup director David Shepherd said: “We wanted a new, innovative style that appeals to our target audience and Wear The Shirt have produced a really refreshing design.”

The festival of football annually attracts over 250 teams and 10,000 visitors to the leafy campus that is Keele University. The site is ideally located near the M6 and major rail routes and airports and appeals to the football community from far and wide. With teams from over 30 countries and a mixture of grass roots through to Premier League clubs sending teams - it has a fantastic mixture of culture and talent.

The two-day Keele Cup Trade Show on Thursday and Friday, July 28 and 29, is therefore also proving very popular with a great variety of companies signing up, including Umbro, Soccerade, Reusch Goalkeeping Academy, WackySox, British Sports Museum, Pukka Pies, STA Travel, Wear The Shirt, Soccer Matrix, S1 Shinguards and RP Photographic.

There is still time for your company to be there. If you want to exhibit at the show please email john@­sportsglobal.­co.­uk

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