THE INNER LONDON Football League annual awards ceremony celebrated another successful calendar year of football with silverware awarded to teams across several divisions.
ILFL chair Koys Miah kick-started the event with a short message for all participants. He said, “Tonight is a celebration of football and we welcome the family here. The veterans’ football scene is thriving, but additionally we need to pool our ideas on how to better engage with our youth and revive football amongst that age group.”
There were presentations by Sonali Othith Chair Jamal Uddin to TVL champions London Tigers and cup winners Workhouse and by Councillor Faruque Ahmed to Division 1 champs London Legends and Premier League champs Beaumont FC, amongst others.
The ILFL has introduced a new over 40s league and former Sonali Othith Chair Dawlath Khan Babul was on hand to present Poplar Legends with the league championship. He said, “Congratulations to all the winners. My request to everyone is to give some time to the kids. I myself train two nights a week, but I have little time to take my kids training. If we all invest a little time then we can keep football in our community alive.”
The UK Bangladeshi Football Championships 2018 title was awarded to Hawk & Eagle vets who picked up their trophy from Bokul Hussain. He commented, “I have seen both sides of the coin and I can see how difficult it is to run these leagues. My hats off to you all for all the hard work put in.”
Mohammedan SC who beat Soul Youth 5-2 in a storming final were awarded the UKBFC trophy as back to back champions.
Special thanks were reserved for Impressions Events Venue who generously hosted the gala evening. Host Mayen Uddin Ansar announced plans for a wedding caterers football tournament, which is set to be arranged for 2019.
Jermaine Wright from the Hackney Leyton League thanked ILFL. He said, “The ILFL teams have really stepped up. Bromley have been a joy to watch and I can wholeheartedly say that they are more than ready to play at a higher level.”
After Bromley-by-Bow FC swept the board with the Premiership, Cup, Champions Cup, manager of the year, player of the year and a special recognition award, Tower Hamlets Speaker Ayas Miah enthused, “It’s fantastic to see how teams like Bromley and in particular the ILFL are playing an active role in engaging with young people in the community. Thank you very much and congratulations to all the winners tonight.”
After a Play 4 Rohingya project presentation on how the UK charity Human Aid is supporting the persecuted Rohingya people in Bangladesh, the final trophy was presented to Emdad Rahman MBE and the Bangladeshi team on their glorious World Cup win last summer. In attendance alongside Rahman were Muhammed Nashir, Abdul Hanif, Hassan Abdullah, Abul Hussain, and Jallal Miah.
Rahman said, “We were written off and fell foul of the dreaded fixture pile up. On the day the team came together like the perfect storm to demolish our opponents. The squad have become friends for life and it is up there with my proudest football achievements. Well done to the forward thinking team at the ILFL for taking sports engagement to a whole new level.”
ILFL Vice Chair Rashid Ali summed up the evening and concluded, “Thank you to everyone for an evening of celebration. We remain committed to serving our communities through football and continue to request your support in helping us achieve this.”