Commercial Old Boys spot on to win National Veterans’ Cup!

Commercial Old Boys celebrate their National Veterans' Cup success''''Picture: Zak Bailey
Commercial Old Boys celebrate their National Veterans' Cup success''''Picture: Zak Bailey

Commercial Old Boys were crowned National Veterans’ Over 40s champions at Lilleshall on Sunday.

And they instantly devoted their success to founder and former manager Tony Bannister, who died a year ago this month.

The Old Boys beat London South United 4-3 on penalties after a 2-2 draw, to claim the title, seven years after ‘Banny’ steered the side to the Umbro National Champions Trophy.

Commercial suffered a blow just 10 minutes in as influential midfielder Stuart Mulligan was forced off with a sore leg – which later transpired to be a broken tibia.

But 10 minutes later, Danny Paton burst between the London centre backs to score the opener, finding the keeper’s top left-hand corner.

Commercial were pegged back only two minutes later.

However, just before the interval, Paton was upended in the box and picked himself up to convert the penalty.

London came on strong in the second half, and, 10 minutes from time, scored an equaliser to take the game to penalties.

Captain Simon Burrows was the hero in the shootout, saving two spot kicks to lift the title – the second of which was his last touch in his final game, before hanging up his goalkeeping gloves.

Commercial had won through to the National Final after beating local rivals Burnley Belvedere, before advancing past a team from Wolverhampton, and then a side from Liverpool in the Northern Final.

They were due to face Farnham Town in the final, but Farnham were unable to raise a team at the weekend, and their place was taken by London South United – who included a number of the Peckham Town team who had beaten Commercial Old Boys two years ago in the final.

Former Nelson boss John Bailey was the victorious manager, with the 16-strong squad consisting of Simon Burrows, Manzar Ditta, Jason Heffernan, Daryl Slack, Mark Smedley, Martin Whitaker, Stuart Mulligan, Michael Cruz, Danny Paton, Andy Haworth, Chris Clark, Paul Nutter, Richard Cunningham, Carl Haworth, Dean Gascoigne and Damian Moran.

Though named Commercial Old Boys, the team are based at the Crown Hotel, Colne, who sponsor the team, pay entry fees and also provide refreshments after games.