FIREFIGHTERS from Harrogate have won a national football tournament for the first time in the brigade’s history.
A squad of players representing North Yorkshire, including two firefighters from Harrogate Red Watch, took part in a national five-a-side tournament on March 24.
Matt Bland, 29, and Darren McAvinue, 30, competed in the final in Birmingham, beating 13 teams to take the top title.
The eight-strong squad had qualified after competing in regional heats in Darlington in January, wearing a kit sponsored by Harrogate restaurant The Park.
Manager Mr Bland, from Ripon, said: “It was a fantastic achievement for the North Yorkshire Fire Service as it is the first time in the brigade’s history that we have won the national five-a-side competition.
“The lads should be very proud of this achievement. Maybe the new kit has been a lucky omen for us today.”
Mr McAvinue, from Huddersfield, added: “After three games we were down and out but we showed a lot of heart and character to recover and we fully deserved this victory.”
The team had travelled to Birmingham for the final, which was a closely contested affair against local rivals Cleveland but North Yorkshire eventually secured a 3-1 win.