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The Racing Centre FC secure promotion to Division One for the first time ever



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Their expertise may lie within the world of horse racing, but The Racing Centre FC’s players have also shown themselves to be adept on the football pitch this season.

The team, which was formerly known as Godolphin FC and will revert back to that name from the start of next season, is largely made up with people from within the racing industry.

Trainer Joseph Parr has made 20 appearances this term, while joint leading goalscorer Steve Eastwood (Sir Michael Stoute) and Dan Cahill (Godolphin) are also based within the yards of Newmarket.

The Racing Centre, who will revert back to being known as Godolphin FC next season, have been promoted. Picture: Mecha Morton
The Racing Centre, who will revert back to being known as Godolphin FC next season, have been promoted. Picture: Mecha Morton

Group 1-winning jockey Cieren Fallon has also had 10 run outs this term, scoring four goals.

And they have come together to good effect in recent months, with their second-placed finish securing promotion to Division One of the Bury & District Sunday Football League for the first time ever.

Manager Tom Cox, who is employed by Godolphin trainer Saeed bin Suroor, said: “Promotion was something we saw as a realistic aim this season.

Manager Tom Cox is one of many with connections to the world of horse racing. Picture: Mecha Morton
Manager Tom Cox is one of many with connections to the world of horse racing. Picture: Mecha Morton

“We’ve got some good players in the squad that play at a decent level on Saturdays.

“There is a good blend between young and experienced players and that has really helped.

“Maybe we should have won the league – I think we’re good enough – but results haven’t been quite consistent enough, although it’s still been a really good season.

“The majority of our players are involved in racing, but it’s the football that brings them together.”

Joint leading scorer Steve Eastwood goes in search of more goals against Moreton Hall 96 last weekend. Picture: Mecha Morton
Joint leading scorer Steve Eastwood goes in search of more goals against Moreton Hall 96 last weekend. Picture: Mecha Morton

Life at a higher level next season will pit them against stronger opposition, some of whom contain players who feature for Thurlow Nunn League teams on a Saturday.

However, Cox is confident his group have enough quality to be competitive.

He added: “This is our sixth season and we were in the Cambs League before, but we switched to the Bury League because we wanted a new challenge against some good sides.

“I think we’ll be very competitive next season. We played a friendly against the side that is second in Division One last summer and drew that one 3-3.

The Racing Centre's Ben Le Maire in action against Moreton Hall 96 last weekend. Picture: Mecha Morton
The Racing Centre's Ben Le Maire in action against Moreton Hall 96 last weekend. Picture: Mecha Morton

“Some of the top teams have Thurlow Nunn players, but we’ll play our way and see where it takes us.”

And after a couple of seasons playing under The Racing Centre banner, they will once again be known under their former guise as Godolphin in 2022/23.

Cox explained: “Godolphin stopped the football because of the pandemic but we were keen for the side not to fold. Joe Parr was particularly keen to keep the team going and we made a link up with The Racing Centre.

“But we’re heading back to play at Godolphin and they provide us with a great facility and help us with funding.

“Hugh Anderson (Godolphin’s chief operating officer) has been very good in the support he provides us.”