‘We’ve created a monster’ — Diss’s King of the Cup is so much more than a kickabout

Reece Royds (left), was the 2016 King of the Cup and Josh Farrell was the first ever winner of the Junior Competition.
Reece Royds (left), was the 2016 King of the Cup and Josh Farrell was the first ever winner of the Junior Competition.
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It is so much more than just a kickabout between friends.

The King of the Cup in Diss – the self proclaimed ‘world’s greatest single goal knockout competition’ – has become a highlight in the town’s calendar, and is now in its 16th year.

Shop Til We Drop for David Bloomfield returns to Rectory Meadow, Diss

Shop Til We Drop for David Bloomfield returns to Rectory Meadow, Diss

It can trace its original roots back more than 25 years and enjoyed a rebirth in 2002, and has run annually ever since, attracting footballers around the area.

To an outsider looking in, it may look like a herd of 60 men tearing around Rectory Meadow in a desperate bid to be crowned the champion — and be awarded the infamous winner’s jacket.

But that would be doing the King of the Cup a disservice. Not only is it a community event. It is a fundraising one, too.

The King of the Cup was the arena for emotional scenes in 2015 when the Shop ‘Til We Drop cyclists, trekking from Land’s End, arrived in Diss.

From something that started off so small when we had kickabouts when we were 10 or 11, it now has that community feel

Lee Farrell, organiser, King of the Cup

The six-day pedal raised £18,000 for former Diss resident and two-time winner David Bloomfield, who was recovering from a brain tumour.

Last year, £1,700 was raised. Of that, £1,060 went to the Diss branch of the Friends of Chernobyl’s Children (FOCC), while £630 was donated to town resident Nicola Waters, who had lost her sight following a brain tumour.

The King of the Cup 2017 – being held on Good Friday, April 14, at 10am – will be raising funds for a local Eye family.

Tanya Robinson lost her 20-month-old daughter, Jazmin Winnie-Rose, recently, and the event hopes to help fund a memorial bench in her memory.

King of the Cup 2016.

King of the Cup 2016.

Lee Farrell, who helps to organise the event, said they have “created a monster – in a good way”.

“From something that started off so small when we had kickabouts when we were 10 or 11, it now has that community feel,” he said.

“We have started something for the whole community, being able to bring everyone together from Diss, and we have that charity aspect, as well as the Junior King of the Cup, so we have a real legacy now.

“The charity element is massive for us. What happened to Jazmin, what Tanya is going through, for that reason this is why it is so important to us.”

Fellow organiser Bobby Kilkenny added: “It is a good day.

“Everyone from Diss turns up and even people who do not like football turn up for it just because of what it is.

“I think it just brings everyone together because we are doing it for something.”

On the pitch, Reece Royds will look to become the first man to retain his crown after winning the 2016 competition, while the junior tournament will enter its second year.

Off the field, there will be a range of activities. The cricket club bar will be open all day, and there will be a barbecue, bouncy castle, raffle, and the Great Diss Bake-Off.

Entry to the adults tournament is £10. The junior event is free to enter, and is open to boys and girls aged 12 and under.

n The Kings of the Cup: 2002 - David Bloomfield; 2003 - Lee Farrell; 2004 - Ken Hunt; 2005 - James Edwards; 2006 - Ian Edwards; 2007 - James Denney; 2008 - Danny Clarke; 2009 - David Bloomfield; 2010 - Ken Hunt; 2011 - Sam Darlow; 2012 - Jimmy Goulding; 2013 - Jon Abbott; 2014 - Zac Torrance; 2015 - Chris Buckmaster; 2016 - Reece Royds.

n The Junior Kings of the Cup: 2016 - Josh Farrell.

n For more information, see the King of the Cup event page on Facebook.

n Follow King of the Cup on Twitter — @KingOfTheCup

n Donations are also being sought for the raffle to be held on the day, as well as face painters. Anyone who is able to bring along a gazebo is also encouraged to get in touch with the group’s Facebook page