The Orphanage Cup is East Lancashire’s most prestigious and historic football tournament and has been for running for over 90 years.
Local companies in the area take part in teams and play a knock out football competition to raise money for the charity CANW (Child Action Northwest), which supports children, families and vulnerable adults within the local community. The event has raised hundreds of thousands of pounds since it first began and has seen a large number of people take part, one of which includes H&T Industrial’s very own Stuart Pearce, who has his own special connection with the tournament...
"I have been working for H&T Industrial, a part of Presspart Manufacturing Ltd, for over 29 years and I am very much a strong advocate for people and the local community spirit. I have taken part in the tournament on many occasions as a player, albeit with varying levels of success but after hanging up my playing boots for good, I decided to give football managing a try and the rest is history. Last year in June, myself and fellow colleagues at H&T Presspart won the tournament with flying colours and were crowned winners against Blackburn Rovers Community Trust team, winning 4-1 in front of more than 250 people.
The tournament has always had a special place for me, not just for the work CANW achieves with the money that is raised from the competition, but because my family has always taken part in the Orphanage cup and it’s a tradition I proudly have maintained during my time working at H&T Industrial. My Dad and Uncle both worked at another local business called Mullards, which used to make valves and other electrical components for TV sets. The company employed more than 6,000 people and had a factory just off Philips Road in Blackburn which is the area I work now.
Both my dad (far left) and my Uncle (far right) won the cup in 1970 and just over 50 years later, and a number of those years with them telling me I still had not won it! I was able to do the same. Keeping it in the family has made participation in the event even more special for me as I’ve been able to share a piece of history just like my Dad and Uncle did.
It was always my favourite competition as a player and now as a manager. The competition brings everyone together, not only the team but the colleagues coming down to support us which I feel continues in the work place.
We are very much looking forward to defending our crown in this year’s competition and wish all the other teams taking part every success."