Gosport Football Festival welcomes David James and Portsmouth FC manager Danny Cowley to free family event

Football fans were in paradise as David James and Danny Cowley attended the Gosport Football Festival

Employees at Utilita joined Pompey in the Community (PITC) and the English Football League (EFL) to put on the free event, which saw hundreds pile into the Bay House School Sports Centre field.

James Heyes, group partnerships manager at Utilita, said: ‘It is fantastic, the turnout has been great. This is probably the biggest we have had this year.

‘At the moment with the cost of living, we need to reconnect with our locals. We are an energy company so we know first and foremost what is happening.’

A free football festival at Bay School, Gosport has been organised by Utilita, Pompey In The Community, and the EFL with former Pompey stalwart David James attending on Monday 25th July 2022 Pictured: Pompey in the Community and Nike Unite Portsmouth at Bay School, Gosport Picture: Habibur Rahman

The event welcomed former Pompey and England international goalkeeper, David James, Pompey head coach, Danny Cowley, and some of the Portsmouth women’s team.

David James, ambassador for Utilita, said: ‘So the Utilita Football Festival has done a few of these and the amazing thing is that I found out today that this has been one of the most popular ones done.

‘I speak to so many different types of football appreciators as opposed to fans, and I think that is the key thing here.

‘It is not about elitism, it is about the social benefits that football brings to the community and this is probably the best example.’

Pictured: David James with a couple of his fans at Bay House School, Gosport Picture: Habibur Rahman

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The event was packed with activities for families, from football darts to coaching sessions and skill games, and there was also an ice cream van and food truck.

Anna Stevens, 38, travelled from Bognor Regis to visit Bay House School, which she attended when she was a child. The mum of two said: ‘It is nice to be back because the boys obviously have not seen where I went to school so it is quite nice.

‘It is great to see kids outside in the fresh air and it is free which is really appreciated by most parents at the beginning of the six weeks holiday.’

Jenny Thompson with her children, Lexi 11, Miller 5 and Miles 9 having ice cream Picture: Habibur Rahman

The festival, which was open from 10am to 3pm was free to anyone and while it was expected that about 200 people would turn up to the event, more than 600 people turned up by 1pm.