PREVIEW: JOEL RICHARDS MEMORIAL CUP FINAL
AFC Wulfrunians Under-18 Youth will take on Rushall Olympic Youth Development Under-18s in this year’s Joel Richards Memorial Cup on Monday 15 April (7.45pm kick-off), with both teams vying for their first victory in the Final in their respective clubs’ histories.
Played in memory of Birmingham County FA Youth Council member and Referee, Joel Richards, who tragically lost his life alongside his grandfather, Patrick, and uncle, Adrian, in the 2015 Tunisia attacks; the Final has become recognised as not only a celebration of grassroots football, but the celebration of the life of an incredible young man who is sorely missed.
A bursary – named The Joel Richards Foundation Legacy Fund – was launched in 2016 to provide local young volunteers, coaches and match officials with the opportunity to apply for financial support to assist their football journey. The fund was set up to ensure Joel’s legacy continues, with the application window for those aged 14 to 25 opening in September and April of each calendar year.
AFC Wulfrunians Under-18 Youth’s journey to the Final has been a confident one, with the side conceding just one goal en route to Monday night’s showpiece. Having been granted an away win in Round One, a 3-1 victory over Tividale followed in the Second Round. Sweeping aside Solihull Moors 2-0 in the Quarter-Final, AFC Wulfrunians Under-18 Youth sealed their Final berth courtesy of a 1-0 home win over Alvechurch.
Opponents Rushall Olympic Youth Development Under-18s commenced their Joel Richards Memorial Cup campaign with a 5-3 win over Dudley Town in Round One, before edging a 13-goal thriller 7-6 against Sutton Coldfield Town in the Second Round. The Quarter-Finals saw Rushall Olympic Youth Development Under-18s host Halesowen Town, with the home side emerging 3-0 winners, with a 5-2 victory over Boldmere St. Michaels securing a spot in the Final.