On Sunday 3rd October 2022, the Richard Marley Memorial Tournament made its yearly appearance and has set the record for being the best one yet. On the morning, the sun was shining, cakes and sausage rolls were being eaten, and teams were warming up in preparation for the fierce competition.

An amazing 19 teams entered the tournament and this made for a fantastic round of
games. Teams were of the usual array of people, young, old, experienced, never played netball before. Pools were decided with a draw from the hat, and this meant the two courts were constantly playing throughout the day.

The horn sounded and games began with a variety of netball skills on show. Teams came out fighting, some keeping up the usual traditions and choosing to forget or pretending they do not know the rules of netball and pushing the umpires decisions. Some games were more heated than others, with friends, families and colleagues finding themselves head to head, but everyone demonstrated the real spirit of the tournament and had fun.

After a number of intense games, the final this year had Gus’ Gals vs. TMWF 1 and this was probably the most testing game of the tournament. Marley vs. Whales. With some excellent netball on show from Gus’ Gals, it was them who took the win (just). Following the final whistle, Damien had to have a timeout and let the steam stop coming out of his ears – the reaction to Marley coming out on top!

We were overwhelmed with the final figure sitting at £1,918 which is the best year yet! The aim of the tournament is always to raise money for a fantastic cause, as well as remembering our special dad. To have and see so many people come down to the courts on the day, be that playing, spectating or just to eat cake, it all means so much to us as a family.

A special mention this year has to go to Team Ridicule, which was a team made up of dad’s old school friends. These boys had never played netball before, however they arrived in Ely (from all over the country) the night before, with a tiny piece of paper with their formation on, as well as some tactics. They had done their research, along with creating their own personalised t-shirts, and their presence at the tournament made it so special. They have said they are training already for next year!