PICTURE: Britwell defender Charlie Graves, 29, celebrates the first of his three goals in the 4-0 win against Old Windsor in the Sid Hurley Challenge (League) Cup Final at the 1878 Stadium in Burnham on Monday. PHOTOS: Gary House.
Britwell star Charlie Graves has dedicated his hat-trick in the Sid Hurley Challenge (League) Cup Final to the memory of Isobel England, who very sadly lost her battle with cancer in April.
Graves was an unlikely hero when scoring three goals from centre back as The Steamteam thumped Old Windsor 4-0 to win the League Cup for the first time in their history.
But, celebrations at the 1878 Stadium in Burnham also included a show of unity behind teammate, George Torpey, the partner of Isobel, who collected the famous trophy with team captain Stuart Rowbottom.
Graves explained: “The majority of people in the local area knows of the unfortunate situation we’ve found ourselves in regarding our teammate and one of my best friends, George. He unfortunately lost his partner recently and the hat-trick I scored is dedicated to them both.
“I ran to give George a cuddle after I scored the second goal but actually ran the wrong way. Fortunately, I got the third and we ran to each other straight away.
PHOTO: Britwell centre back Charlie Graves rises above Old Windsor defenders to score the second of his three goals.
“I’ve played in Britwell sides since I was 13 years old and won trophies in both boys’ and men’s football but, that was by far the most special. I could not only help us win the Cup but I could dedicate my performance to Isobel and George. It made the occasion that little bit more special.
“It was a great feeling to win the Cup and have all of our kids on the pitch with us for pictures. My son is only three months old and even he was on the pitch.
“Since George lost his partner it really feels like we’ve created a stronger bond within the squad and it was great that we could dedicate both the League Cup and the Premier Division title to them both. To try and turn a negative into a positive.
“Britwell F.C. has always had a bad reputation but, when it’s time to pull together and be there for each other, there isn’t a team that does it better than us. We have a real brotherhood and that’s probably why we’re the best team at our level in the area.”
Graves, 29, continued: “Everyone has said to me how good the second goal was but, personally, my favourite out of the three was the first one. I managed to get in-between Chris Tierney and Lee Short, who are probably two of the best centre backs in the League, to win the header and the rebound to open the scoring. The second goal was the better finish but the first is my favourite because I’m definitely a few pounds heavier than both Chris and Lee but I got in the air better.
PICTURE: Britwell players celebrate with George Torpey (centre in black top) moments after Charlie Graves completed his hat-trick.
“Don’t forget Dan Malloy’s finish for the fourth goal as well, one touch and then smashing it past the keeper on the half-volley. That’s how Britwell do the business, a touch of class.”
He added: “I’ve scored hat-tricks before and my most recent was for Burnham Village F.C. a couple of seasons back. Every now and then I’ll tell the boys about it but, that game was nowhere near the magnitude of this one, so they best believe they’ll be hearing about this one for years to come. George and I actually joked about it after the game, that we will be talking about it down the pub in 40 years time, and trust me we will.
“The grandkids will know about the famous hat-trick that won the super Britwell the League Cup for the first time.”
Britwell are revelling in an historic season for both the football club and the East Berkshire area. Having already completed the League and Cup double, The Steamteam has reached the final in the Maidenhead Norfolkian Senior Cup and are favourites to reach the final in the Challenge Cup.
Graves explained that his teammates are confident in the belief they are the best team around at the moment, citing a comfortable win over Old Windsor in the League Cup final on Monday.
PICTURE: Britwell hat-trick hero, Charlie Graves, receives his League Cup winners medal from Vivienne, the daughter of former EBFL Chairman and President Sid Hurley who the competition is named after.
He said: “I always felt confident going into the game against Old Windsor as they haven’t beaten us since 2018 but, it was a Cup final and it’s always in the back of your mind that anything can happen.
“We controlled the game from start to finish and I don’t feel like they troubled us at all. We’re a far better team than them and I think it showed on the day.
“We’ve just won back-to-back league titles and done the double this season, and we’re not finished yet. We have still got the Maidenhead Norfolkian and the Challenge Cup to play for, and we’ve got to be favourites to win them both.
“We’ve beaten all the top sides in the league this season and beaten them comfortably, other than a couple of slip-ups against Chalvey Sports and Frontline. I don’t think any other team can justify being close to us at the moment. That’s taking nothing away from anyone else but, we have a great squad depth and we love playing for the shirt.
“Nobody likes Britwell F.C. and they never have. It was like that when I played here as a teenager and it hasn’t changed. So, it makes being the best team around that little bit sweeter.”
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