LG Lion Crowned Champions of 21st Gurkha Cup 2023 in the UK
Aldershot, UK – The Gurkha Cup 2023, the biggest football tournament of the Nepali community in the UK, concluded on Sunday, 28th May with an exhilarating final match at the Queen’s Avenue Football Ground in Aldershot. The 21st edition of the tournament witnessed fierce competition among 32 men’s teams and 10 women’s teams in the main group.
In a thrilling showdown, LG Lion emerged victorious, securing the championship title in the men’s category. The team displayed exceptional skills and determination throughout the tournament and secured a convincing 3-1 victory against Plumstead FC in the final match. The deserving champions were awarded a prize of £2500, along with a trophy and certificate. Plumstead FC, the runner-up, received £1500, a trophy, and a certificate.
The winning team’s journey to success was backed by Major Khushiman Gurung MVO, Managing Director of Nepali Village UK, who sponsored them with a generous amount of £2500. Major Yogesh Rai, Managing Director of Shree Lucky Zolars Aldershot, sponsored the runner-up team with £1500. Hup Thapa, the sponsor of the best manager in the main team category, rewarded the victorious LG Lion manager, Som Gurung, with £1000. Additionally, Ragan Gurung of Plumstead FC was honored as the top scorer in the main team category.
In the veteran category, Himalayan FC emerged triumphant after an intense penalty shootout, claiming the championship title. They received a cash prize of £1200, a trophy, and a certificate. Intake 2000 showcased an impressive performance but had to settle for the runners-up position, earning £800 in cash, along with a trophy and certificate. Raja Thapa, director of Hamsair Accountant, sponsored the winning veteran team with £1200, while Mann Travels and Tours Services Ltd. directors, Suman Pun and Bagbir Pun, sponsored the runners-up team with £800. Captain Pitambar Gurung of the veteran team was also awarded £500.
On the women’s side, ‘Ma Khelchu FC’ emerged as the winners, showcasing their exceptional talent and teamwork. They were awarded a prize of £500, along with a trophy and certificate. The runner-up team, Rounderbolt FC, was sponsored with £300 by IME London Kamal Paudel, Director of King’s Gate Finance.
In individual player accolades, Sushma Shahi was named the Player of the Match for her outstanding performance. Sougat Gurung of LG Lion was crowned the West Player, while Regan Gurung of Plumstead FC secured the Top Scorer title. Sushmita Shahi was recognized as the best player in the women’s category.
Aside from the football matches, the Gorkha Cup 2023 featured a range of attractions, including parachute jumps, cultural programs, food stalls, charity stalls, mortgage stalls, rental shops, clothing shops, and public awareness stalls. Over 100 stalls added vibrancy to the event, catering to diverse interests.
The prestigious event was graced by several distinguished guests. Clive Gratton, Mayor of Rushmore Borough Council, attended as the Chief Guest, alongside Roshan Khanal, Deputy Head of the Nepali Embassy, and Councilors of Rushmore Borough Council. Other notable guests included Brigadier PS Rihal MBE, Gaurab Ghale, heads of various organizations, councillors, senior ranks of the Army, religious leaders, and journalists. Approximately 350 guests were in attendance, adding to the grandeur of the event.
During the formal program held prior to the finals, Mayor Clive Gratton expressed his delight at the Nepali community organizing such a significant event in his borough. He emphasized the strengthening of British society through the growing Nepali population. Roshan Khanal, the Deputy Chief of Mission of the Nepali Embassy in London, highlighted the role of sports in promoting social harmony, unity, and local business.
Hari Gurung, President of Tamudhin UK, acknowledged the Gorkha Cup’s vital contribution in fostering unity, harmony, and integration among Nepalis in the UK. He emphasized the event’s impact on promoting local businesses and preventing youth from engaging in negative activities.
Although Prince Phillipos and Princess Nina of Greece and Denmark were expected to attend as VVIP guests, they were unable to attend due to health reasons.
The event’s formal program was chaired by Hari Gurung, President of Tamudhi UK, and Dr. Bishal Gurung, Secretary General of the organization. The organizing team, led by various individuals, including Ky. Deepakraj Ghale, Sulabh Gurung, Kumar Gurung, Lieut. Kusang Gurung, Me. Re. Khushiman Gurung, Kamal Gurung, and Parshu Gurung, ensured the success of the Gorkha Cup 2023.
The Gorkha Cup has become an integral part of the Nepali community’s cultural calendar in the UK, fostering camaraderie, promoting sportsmanship, and showcasing the talent and dedication of Nepali footballers.