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MPs narrowly lose to press at Labour Conference Football Match

MPs narrowly lose to press at Labour Conference Football Match

The following story is from the FA website at the following link:

As the Labour Party arrived in Liverpool to prepare for this week’s Conference, the MPs took time out on Sunday to play their annual match against the Press Lobby at the home of the Liverpool County FA.

Backing The FA Mars ‘Just Play’ campaign in the process, it was a close affair as always but the Press Lobby got their revenge for last year’s defeat with a 3-2 victory.

Labour started slowly with a short back pass gifting the opener to Jon Reed of The Yorkshire Post. The Daily Telegraph’s Andy Porter made it 2-0 soon after with a low shot from just inside the area.

Andy Burnham MP reduced the arrears with a fine shot from the edge of the box, a carbon copy of last year’s effort in Manchester, but Sky’s Ramzi Bedj restored the Press Lobby’s two goal advantage just before half time.

The MPs put on more pressure for an equaliser after the break, but researcher David Hodges’ goal came just too late and the scoreline finished at 3-2.

“It’s always a close encounter,” captain Clive Betts MP told FATV after the game.

“We hit the post and the crossbar, so we could easily have drawn or won the game.

“We’ll no doubt have our legs pulled and be ribbed for the next few days. If we win, nothing appears in the press, but if the press win, it always appears!”

Burnham also spoke after the game and gave his backing to the ‘Just Play’ campaign, which aims to get people back playing football across the country.

“It’s a brilliant campaign,” he said.

“I still play on a Monday night when I’m at home, with a group of lads that I grew up with.

“It’s not organised, it’s just informal and ‘turn up if you can’.

“We need to encourage more of that and make facilities easier for people to use and give them a place to play.

“It’s a brilliant campaign, a great idea and I’m wholeheartedly behind The FA on this.”

Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls added: “It’s got to be easy for people to play football. Not everybody wants to play 11-a-side, but it can be 5-a-side, not everybody has to wear the kit- just get out there and participate.”

After putting in a solid performance in the Labour net Toby Perkins added:-

“Participation in sport and exercise is vital to the health and wellbeing of all members of the community, from our young people to senior citizens. It is so important for as many people as possible to play sport, whether it is organised or just a casual basis.

Despite the scoreline the match was great fun and it was a great to start the conference playing football in a city which is soccer mad. If the game had gone on for another ten minutes or so I would have backed us to win, but I’m sure we’ll come back stronger next year!

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I am Toby Perkins, Labour's Member of Parliament for Chesterfield. If you would like to get in touch with me, my office is open and can be reached by phone on 01246 386 286. I also hold regular surgeries so that constituents can meet me and I can take up their concerns. If you would like to make an appointment then please do contact my office. Thank you for visiting.

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