A record number of young football players laced up their boots for the third Whitehaven AFC Lionesses and Lions Festival.

An estimated 1,100 youngsters across 123 teams played in the two-day event at the County Ground at the weekend.

Boys’ and girls’ teams from under-sevens to under-14s took part, with Cleator Moor Celtic, Bigrigg Bulls, Windscale, Whitehaven Miners, Seaton Athletic, Maryport Amateurs and Workington Reds among the local clubs involved and sides from Scotland, the North East and Lancashire also making the trip to take part.

PAN Disability teams were also involved as the club strived to ensure no-one was left out of the festival, which is part of the club’s 25th anniversary celebrations.

Organiser Rob Campbell said: “The comments we’ve had since, especially from teams that came from away, have been brilliant.

“They’re already wanting to know the dates for next year so they can come back.

“There were really good players on show and the standard was scary, especially in some of the younger age groups among the boys.

“We mixed the boys’ and girls’ teams on both days so people got a flavour of how both played.

“We had a maximum squad size of 10 and judging from the medals handed out I think most teams brought that.

“More than 100 volunteers were involved over the weekend, doing everything from litter picking to pitch supervising and refereeing.

“We’ve already sorted sponsorship for next year.”

Trophy and plate competitions ensured as many players as possible had a good chance of reaching semi-finals and finals over the weekend.