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150 girls take part in memorial football tournament

Girls Football Tournament

Tournament honours Catherine’s memory

More than 150 girls from schools across Devon took part in a tournament established in memory of former journalist and Exeter City Community Trust operations manager Catherine Fraser.

A total of 18 teams, the most in the five years the event has been running, took part in the Catherine Fraser Memorial Tournament this week.

Cullompton Community College claimed the top spot after beating Exeter School in the final. The Plate was won by Isca Academy, who beat Newton Abbot College in the final. There was drama at each of the finals, with both matches going to penalties.

The annual six-a-side tournament for year seven girls is organised by Exeter City Community Trust, the partner charity of Exeter City Football Club, where Catherine worked following her career as a journalist at The Times in London and more locally at the Express & Echo. It took place at Exwick Sports Hub and was supported by Abbie Britton, Manfy Sharpe and Jess Sandland from Exeter City Women.

Presentations were made to the winners and runners-up by Catherine’s mother, Glenda Riley and daughter Dulcie Fraser. Glenda donated funds to set up the annual tournament after Catherine passed away in 2015 from breast cancer.

Jamie Vittles, chief executive of Exeter City Community Trust, said: ‘Before she worked at Exeter City Community Trust, Catherine was one of the first female sports editors at a national newspaper. She was a wonderful role model and was passionate about opportunities for girls to play football, so this feels like a fitting way to honour her memory.

“Thank you to Glenda for her ongoing support of this event which continues to give young female footballers the chance to participate in a sport that Catherine loved.”

As well as staging the Catherine Fraser Memorial Tournament, Exeter City Community Trust has a number of programmes to encourage girls of all ages to participate in football, starting with sessions for tots from aged four and Grecian Girls sessions and girls’ only holiday clubs. It also runs Emerging Talent Centres in Exeter and North Devon and there are currently more than 100 players signed up to the Girls’ Development Centre for nine to 16 year olds, from which players move on to the Exeter College Academy, with a pathway ultimately to the Exeter City Women’s team.

The teams competing in the event were from Colyton Grammar School; Cranbrook Educational Campus; Cullompton Community College; Exeter School; Isca Academy; Newton Abbot College; Queen Elizabeth’s School, Crediton; Sidmouth College; St Luke’s Church of England School; Teign School; The Maynard School; Tiverton High School and  West Exe School.

For more information about girls and women’s football, visit