FC Philophobia Triumph at Live At Leeds 5 A Side World Cup

At the beginning of the week our 5 a side team again competed in the Live At Leeds 5 a side tournament. The previous two years had seen us crash out at the group stage without a single win. We were determined to do better this year. Here's what happened through the eyes of our goalkeeper:

"On Bank Holiday Monday a football tournament was held for people associated with the annual Live At Leeds Festival. Our very own 'One Shot Bob' is such a man, and so he cherry-picked the best players from and vast musical empire (and beyond) to assemble a team capable of challenging for the trophy. In previous tournaments Philophobia had failed to secure a single victory, but this time out we were confident we had the squad to deliver the goods, with most of us having played together week in, week out for the last year.

In goal was the inimitable not-Captain-today Drunk, whose intricately postioned ponytail gives him the cat-like balance to underpin his razor sharp reflexes and agility. Since limiting himself to 2 pints before games his game has improved immeasurably and inexplicably, with only the other-worldly movements of his nearpost undermining his keeping perfection. In front of him was fitness fanatic Paul Joice, whose ultra-pure lifestyle over the past 12 months has ensured we were confident that he would neither a, do a 'marc vivien-foe' or b. again utter the words "don't pass it to me, i'm *****d". Every team needs a dirty spoiler who will put the boot into the opposition flair players, and we have the dirtiest of them all in Chris Howdle. Over the last 18 months he has carved out a niche making lunging tackles, breaking the rules wherever possible and generally roughing up the other team. We were going to need him at his shin-bruising best if we were going to succeed. Crypto ladies favourite Tristan Holdsworth was making his tournament debut, and we were sure that his charismatic running, goofy smile and uncanny flair when it comes to ruining every team photo would be invaluable to us. After an almost year-long absence, Tim Brook made a return to the fold, meaning that we now had the ace card of a player who would do everybody elses running for them. Up front was Captain and talisman Rob Dee, his commitment to football being so great that he has foregone the usual footballer trapping of fast, beautiful women in order to pursue ever higher levels of skill and accomplishment. He is the team's all-time leading goalscorer, and came with a point to prove after two years of disappointment in this competition.

32 teams entered, and Philophobia had been drawn in a so-called 'group of death' (according to the organisers). However we swiftly proved that this would have been better called the 'group of very easy games' as we systematically demolished all of the other teams.

Dirty Green Vinyl drew the shortest of straws and had to play us first, Howdle swiftly banging in a brace of goals to hammer home a reality check. Tristan and Joice added further goals before DGV shinned in a couple of rubbish efforts, end result was a 5-2 win for us. Next up were Future Sound who had won their first game and evidently fancied themselves as champions-elect. Frank swiftly torpedoed this ridiculous notion, his two superb solo efforts bookending Tim's goal to secure an easy 3-0 win. Final game was against whipping boys Leeds Met Broadcast Media and they were comprehensively swatted aside 7-0, the first being a stunning own goal, but the pick being Frank's sublime half-volley into the top corner from his own half.

Next up was the knockout stages, something Howdle took all too literally as he began throwing his weight about. Firstly smashing through one of their players, he sensed the referee was weak and so followed it up by elbowing another opponent in t> he face. Startled by this brutal approach, they were stunned as finishes from Tristan, Tim and Frank left the final score Philophobia 3 -1 ILIKEPRESS.
In the quarters we played tubby chancers Beat Surrender who despite taking an ill-deserved lead were pegged back quickly before a trademark individual goal from Howdle gave us a 2-1 win to put us in the semis.
By this stage fatigue and fear had set into our remaining opponents, and Tristans goal-dar was in full effect as he smashed in all four goals in a comprehensive semi-final procession. Score was Philophobia 4 - 0 Cockpit.

So we came to the final and discovered that we were playing a bunch of guys from the football centre. Now if there's one thing Rob Dee hates, it's ringers who had nothing to do with the festival infiltrating our precious football tournament (!). The 50+ crowd that had assembled were clearly on our side too and they greeted our breathtaking pass and move football with cheers and shouts of encouragement. Our players did their best to entertain the crowd, Tristan by ruining yet another photograph, Howdle by falling about when nowhere near the player or ball, and Joice upsetting their players with a few gentle ankle kicks. Two fantastic strikes that were definitely not fortunate or own-goals saw us take a two-goal lead, and the blazing sun played to our advantage as we played keep-ball to see out a famous win.

Highlight of the final was Rob coming on to big cheers, before scuffing his first shot and prompting the call 'put the other guy back on!' from the crowd. Final score was Philophobia 2 - 0 Runners.

Glory was ours, and the other 31 teams had seen their dreams shattered. Never had so many men been so disappointed since Annabel Cheung's latest failed world record attempt. We took our trophy, medals and £20 bar voucher and partied into the evening with Fabrice Muamba. At 10.30 Drunk had had enough and went home to sleep, but for the first time in the team's history he wasn't the last man standing as three of them stayed out for further revelry. Drunk had never been so proud of them than at that moment."


  1. What football predictions you give for the next game? Give us your professional view, please. Thanks in advance!

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