THEY haven’t won a game for three years, but this football team are celebrating a victory... of sorts.
For 11-a-side team Spartak Cardiak, from Gosport, have been officially declared the worst team in the country.
The struggling Sunday league side, which meets at Gosport Leisure Centre, came top in a competition to find the most hapless in Britain.
But player Tom Shearn, from Gosport, said their new mantle is not going to deter the team from playing their beloved game.
Tom, 45, said: ‘We’re a veteran side made up of players who no longer have the necessary speed, guile and cartilage to be able to keep our places in our regular Sunday sides but haven’t lost any enthusiasm, despite only one victory.’
Spartak Cardiak entered into the Flaming Failures Cup Final, run by Flaming Grill, which owns the Cocked Hat pub in Privett Road, Gosport, after reading about the contest in The News.
Diana Stephens, general manager of the Cocked Hat, said: ‘We were looking for the worst of the worst to take part in the Flaming Failures Cup final and we weren’t disappointed.’
Tom, a teacher at Park Community School in Havant, said: ‘I saw there were beer vouchers up for grabs and I thought “we’ll have a bit of that”.’
Spartak Cardiak were pitted against Opportunity Soccer Owls from Leeds in a match last Saturday in Birmingham.
Both teams were evenly matched and the tense final resulted in a 3-3 draw.
A tense penalty shoot-out helped decide the match with the winning goal for the Owls ricocheting off the Spartak Cardiak keeper Adam Gray.
Tom said the team had a ‘cracking day out’ and that it had helped ‘reinvigorate’ them.
Reaching the final has even done the team some good, as they won their first game in years last week against Solent Vets in Netley.
Tom said: ‘We had a really good time. It was a great away day for us, we had a good crack.’
The team won £250 in Flaming Grill vouchers, which they spent on beer before boarding the coach back to Gosport.