A grassroots football club has enjoyed its 'best ever' Festival of Football Gala.

Warwick Wanderers Football Club, which was founded by current chairman Kevin Dobinson in 1997, and hosted its 2024 gala on Saturday, May 11, and Sunday, May 12.

The event welcomed around 5,000 children from 210 football teams across Cumbria, Northumberland, and Lancashire to Warwick Bridge's Downagate, and featured fairground rides, ice cream vans, barbeques, and a plethora of youth football matches. 

Nick Stobbs has been organising the Gala for 16 years and expressed his delight at the success of the annual event. 

He said: "It was the best ever and I know I said that last year but it really was.

"The attendance figures were the best, the figures were up on the amount of people who got food from the barbeque, parked in the car park, and got teas and coffees. 

"The fairground did record numbers, the ice cream vans broke all of their records and we have not had any negative feedback from anybody.

"We had stalls with Gen2 and Dogs for the Blind which were really well received and we cannot wait to invite them back as well as our main sponsors Lloyd Motor Group. 

"Finally, our DJ, 16-year-old Summer was amazing, she gave the gala that proper Ibiza vibe which was just incredible with the football going on in the background."

Although the event was billed as a summer football tournament, it also doubled as a community gala, with Nick explaining how many people in attendance were not connected to the sporting action. 

He said "We don't charge for entry and if they parked it was a small premium but people were coming down and parking or just walking down from the village and enjoying barbeques, ice creams vans, the fairground.

"I couldn't even account for the amount of people who came who weren't even attached to the football and were just having a great time at the Gala.

"It was great in the sun to see little groups with picnic tables or gazebos having the best time and listening to the picnic.