The King of the Cup is something of a hallmark in the Diss calendar − and the self proclaimed ‘world’s greatest single goal knockout competition’ returns to the town next week.
Taking place on Friday, March 25 at 10am and now in its fifteenth year, the annual event is hosted at Rectory Meadow and sees more than 60 players attempt to be crowned the King of the Cup in a ‘Wembley singles’ elimination format.
Last year it was the home of emotional scenes as the Shop ‘Til We Drop riders, raising money for former resident and winner in 2002 and 2009 David Bloomfield who is recovering from a brain operation, completed their cycle ride from Land’s End.
This year, funds raised from the event will be donated to the Diss branch of the ‘Friends of Chernobyl’s Children’ (FOCC). Each year the branch brings a group of children from an area of Belarus affected by the disaster to the Diss area for a month-long holiday.
Cakes and savouries sold on the day will be raising funds for Diss resident and mother-of-two Nicola Waters, who lost her sight following an operation on a brain tumour.
Organiser and town resident Lee Farrell, who won the event in 2004, told the Diss Express: “To be honest, it first started when we were about ten-years old in about 1990 and we used to play football, jumpers for goal posts.
About 15 years ago we were talking in the pub one day and we said ‘why don’t we play King of the Cup like we used to and bring it back?’Lee Farrell
“About 15 years ago we were talking in the pub one day and we said ‘why don’t we play King of the Cup like we used to and bring it back?’
“It has kicked on ever since, since its rebirth in 2002.”
Last year about £3,000 was raised from the tournament in support of Mr Bloomfield.
“I did not realise the severity of what had happened to Nicola,” Mr Farrell added. “We thought we could do something for her as well.
“We thought if we could give something back, if we can turn this into a charity event every single year it will be all the better.”
There will also be a bouncy castle and raffle on the day, and anyone can enter, at a cost of £10 per person.
If you can donate a raffle prize, visit the King of the Cup 2016 Facebook page.
For more on the Diss branch of FOCC, see www.foccdiss.synthasite.com
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.