“Each game we have been playing for Turgut”

Waltham Forest’s Veterans side dedicated their Essex Sunday Veterans Cup victory to Turgut Esendagli, Forest’s Chairman who sadly passed away last year.

Forest scored three second-half goals to come from behind and spring a surprise to lift the Essex Sunday Veterans Cup for the very first time.

Their opponents Vincitori, already crowned champions of the Southend Borough Combination, looked set for a 36th consecutive victory in all competitions when they led through Mark Bellingham’s first-half goal. But Forest had other ideas as they became the first Garston Veterans League side to win the Essex County Cup thanks to Adar Turgut and a brace from Sezai Tasci.

“That’s what we do! We like coming from behind,” remarked Player-Boss Ismet Turkoglu after the game. “In the Semi-Final we did the same thing. We were 1-0 down and we came back, so it has become our team idea, our own special thing! We seem to play better after going behind. We are largely a Turkish side with a few Kurdish and one Romanian.”

“We used to play on Hackney Marshes and, a year ago, I joined this team and I’ve tried to bring my old friends in. We used to play football together at different levels,” explained Ismet of his side who have become the first from outside the Southend Borough Combination to lift the Sunday Veterans Cup. “I know we are outsiders a little from where the other teams are from, but we’ve done it and we’re pleased to be the first ones!”

Boss Ismet was quick to honour the win to Turgut, explaining: “Each game we have been playing for Turgut, and for his memory. He was a good character and a lovely personality and every game we have played in this competition we have given to him. We’ve done it, Mr Turgut!”

Image and content thanks to the Essex County FA. You can view more photos from last Sunday’s final here.

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