Jake Gallagher was guest of honour at Farnham’s Abbey School last week, as they hosted the second Children With Special Needs Fund football tournament of the year.
The tournament, for children aged 14 – 16, brought together several special needs schools from the region, including Woking’s Park School, Philip Southcote School from Addlestone and Chessington’s St Phillip’s School.
Gordon and Ann Parris, the former Mayor and Mayoress of Surrey Heath who established the Fund in 1995, were also present to enjoy a highly-competitive tournament full of great football.
The Park School, who won four and drew one of their five group games, beat ‘home’ side Abbey United 1-0 in an exciting final, and Gallagher said: “It was a fantastic day and a humbling experience. I was hugely impressed by their ability and competitive spirit, but football is meant to be enjoyed and every single player played with a smile on their face.
“It was also good to meet a few Shots fans at the school, amongst the pupils, teachers and organisers!”
The first tournament, held last month at the Abbey School, saw the hosts win the annual Ian Wooldridge Memorial Trophy.
The Abbey School is a strong and vibrant special school with places for just over 100 students aged 11-16 years who have learning difficulties and additional needs. More than one in three of their students have a diagnosis of autism. The school has fit-for-purpose accommodation which is maintained to a high standard and was rated as ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted inspection accreditations in July 2009, July 2012 and, most recently, July 2016.