Canny hat-trick as vets win Upottery Boxing Day match

Father and son Josh and Brian Cann - son Josh is in the foreground - after the pair had played in th

Father and son Josh and Brian Cann - son Josh is in the foreground - after the pair had played in the annual match at Glebe Park, Upottery. - Credit: Archant

There was a very special football match played at Glebe Park, Upottery on Boxing Day.

There was a very special football match played at Glebe Park, Upottery on Boxing Day.

It was the annual fixture between a mixture of players from Churchinford and Upottery Football Clubs with one side made up of the ‘veterans’ and the other of the ‘younger players’.

Brian Cann, a legend of the game of football after two decades of playing Western League football, travelled to Glebe Park from his Dunkeswell home to watch his 18-year-old son Josh playing in the match.

However, the day did not quite go to plan as explained by Brian who said: “Tracey [Brian’s wife], and I were there to watch Josh play for the younger generation, but almost as I got out of my car there was a call to arms for me.


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“I figured I had the perfect excuse given that I had no kit with me - not forgetting that I had not played for four years – however, that was soon no longer an excuse when some kind person produced a splendid pair of pink, size 10 boots.

“It was then a case of finding as much embrocation as could be produced to warm up my 50-something year old legs!”

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A legend of the goal, Cann trooped out of the dressing rooms with fellow veterans, with the number two shirt on and took his place up front for the game and was therefore in a contest against son Josh, starting for the youngsters!

Twenty minutes later, the Cann contingent had scored four goals between them with Cann junior’s single strike overshadowed by a splendid hat-trick from Cann senior!

Brian said: “I’ve with, and against, Josh, many times in cricket, but this was a ‘first’, being on opposite sides in a football match.

“The game was extremely eventful, I was on the receiving end of a full fronted, all stud showing tackle to the right leg from match organiser Rob Williams!

“Thank goodness for the borrowed shin pads! On the other side of the coin, I must confess to having committed one or two cynical challenges which really warranted red cards.

“One particularly sweet challenge I do remember was when I took son Josh down with a good old-fashioned ‘professional foul’.

“I duly awaited the red card which would have seen me get a much needed rest, but the match referee, (Upottery manager Dan Prettejohn), decided against sending me off, preferring, instead, to see me suffer the full game out on the pitch!

“All in all,it proved to be a memorable day and such, such fun.”

The veterans won the contest 6-2 and, as if that full game had not finished Cann senior off, he then did it all again the following day when he took part in a charity football match at Mountbatten Park, Honiton.

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