|Kenny Ritchie Festival of Football 2012 Review|
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On the final day of the Olympics, Musselburgh Windsor FC put on a grand show of their own with Kenny Ritchie Festival of Football.
Despite major drainage works being carried out at their home grounds of Pinkie Playing Fields in the weeks before the event, the club put on a festival of football that was action packed.
Vice-president Dougie Hall said ‘It was a huge concern to us that we would not have enough pitches this year and up to the last minute work was being done to provide access via wooden boards to pitches. It meant the venue was a little cramp and we could not have the inflatable castles, assault course or SFA shooting test etc that we have had in previous years’.
Prior to the start of the festival, Honorary Club President Scott Robertson invited all the players, parents, supporters and coaches over to the new 3G-football pitch where a specially commissioned wooden bench with commemorative plague had been installed (pictured, right). From there Stuart Ritchie, the brother of the late Kenny Ritchie addressed the crowds and said "Just before I unveil the bench in memory of Ken, I would like to take this opportunity of thanking all of those who are involved in the organisation and the running of this tournament, which is one of the best of its kind in the country, if not the best. I’m pleased to say that we’ve managed to put the tournament on a firm financial footing, which will ensure that it is held here for many years to come."
He continued: "I would also like to thank in particular Scott Robertson, who has kept me up to date with all that’s going on at the Windsor in relation to the tournament. Scott was also instrumental in getting the idea of a memorial bench off the ground and made all the necessary arrangements with ELC. Finally, I would like to thank the staff here at Pinkie for all their work in making sure that the tournament runs smoothly. Thanks, in particular, to John Buckley, the grounds man, for all his assistance with the sitting and establishment of the bench."
Ritchie rounded off by saying: "The bench will be a wonderful memory of all that Ken did over 30 years for the Windsor. I therefore have great pleasure in declaring the bench open for business."
The bench overlook at the new pitch and will be a permanent reminder of the Kenny Ritchie love of Musselburgh Windsor FC and Pinkie itself.
The teams representing clubs from near and far were directed to their nominated pitch with each identified by a huge sail bearing the name of famous stadium around the world, including the Maracana, San Siro, Wembley, Hampden and Nou Camp.
Players from representing Edinburgh South, Arniston BC, Leith Athletic, Longniddry Villa, Lochend BC, Bonnyrigg Rose, Lanark BC, Hutchison Vale, Preston Athletic, Edinburgh City, Broughton BC, Hillfield Swifts, Edina Hibs, Musselburgh Youngstars, Eskmills BC, Lasswade BC were guests of the host club – Musselburgh Windsor FC.
Meanwhile the girls section entertained visitors from Haddington FC, Eskmills FC, Preston Athletic FC, Bonnyrigg FC on the new synthetic surface.
Pinkie was awash with players and supporters throughout the day with hot snacks and drinks available in the marquee.
At the conclusion of the football each team was invited onto the main stage to receive a participation medal from a variety of guests, including MSP Colin Beattie, local Councillor Fraser McAllister, BBC radio pundit Craig Patterson and Graham Robertson, branch manager from Specsavers, the festival sponsors.