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Northern Ireland hero Gerry Armstrong gets behind Belfast youth football tournament



Big name: Gerry Armstrong is a Belfast Youth Cup ambassador

Big name: Gerry Armstrong is a Belfast Youth Cup ambassador

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Big name: Gerry Armstrong is a Belfast Youth Cup ambassador

Northern Ireland World Cup hero Gerry Armstrong has become an ambassador for the Belfast Youth Cup.

Former Tottenham and Watford hero turned football pundit Armstrong has agreed to help support the development and promotion of the youth football tournament, part of the Playing for the Future CIC group.

"It's great to see Northern Ireland taking the initiative in promoting youth football and I am happy to support Playing for the Future and the Belfast Youth Cup," said Armstrong. "Hopefully we will see some stars of the future playing in the tournament in the years to come."

Teams from England, Scotland and across Ireland took part in the Belfast Youth Cup in 2019 and, while last year's event had to be cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, organisers are hoping that the 2021 competition can go ahead in August.

Managing Director of Playing for the Future, Thomas McStravick, said: "We had the most terrific start to the competition's existence in 2019 with teams travelling from all over Ireland, England and Scotland.

"Unfortunately, we had to cancel 2020 and are now planning ahead to August. We would like to thank Gerry for believing in the Belfast Youth Cup and in our ability to deliver a world class youth football tournament. It is fantastic to have such a legendary figure as Gerry as our ambassador."

In 2019, Leeds United were a big draw in the inaugural year of the Belfast Youth Cup. Organisers are aiming to attract more big club sides to the 2021 version which is scheduled to take place between August 12-15.

The competition is renowned for honouring people involved in the sport in Northern Ireland and has named trophies after former IFA President Jim Shaw, the IFA's Director of Football Development Michael Boyd, ex-Irish League hero and Sunday Life Sport columnist Liam Beckett plus Northern Ireland women's star Julie Nelson.

Meanwhile, the Co Antrim Football Association have decided to end this year's Steel and Sons competition due to the Covid-19 crisis.

A committee meeting was held last night and it was decided with no games played and the outlook bleak to terminate the competition for this season.

Belfast Telegraph