RJ take on Stamford Bridge for charity

On the 21st of May, I got the opportunity to watch (for content purposes) our very own Richard, Jon and Josh as they swapped their office chairs and laptops for shin pads, boots (of the football kind) and a fluorescent green co-ord, as they headed to Stamford Bridge. What a way to spend a Tuesday! 

These football lovers and dreamers were not only getting a day off work, but they were getting the chance to kick a ball around a premiership stadium and even Josh, who is a massive Spurs fan, was happy to agree that for one day and one day only, London was allowed to be a slightly different shade of blue. Richard, Jon, and Josh’s inner children were screaming at the thought of spending the day pretending they were the James Milners, Harry Maguires and James Maddisons of the world. Not only were they getting to play at Stamford Bridge, they were getting to play for an incredible cause.

Energy/Oil Aid 2024

Oil Aid is a fundraising event founded by Michael Holland (Jubilee Ships), Bob Finch (VITOL) and Marc Thompson (Tullett Prebon) following the devastating 2004 Asian Tsunami in which Michael Holland lost three members of his family. The three united with a shared desire to improve the lives of children both in the UK and abroad and thus Oil Aid was born.

Each year, members of the Oil and Gas associated industries gather at Stamford Bridge to play in a unique six-a-side football tournament, and this year, Marc Thompson kindly asked Richard to get a team together and take part. Without hesitation, Richard jumped at the opportunity to be part of this, and he rang around a bunch of his middle-aged (no offence) mates, trying to get a team together in time. Josh and Jon (not yet middle-aged) got the call, which thankfully levelled out the average age of the team, bettering their chances of holding that Oil Aid Trophy.

Contrary to Accuweathers early morning weather report which led to me pack my Factor 50 and two very summery dresses for the evening gala — unsurprisingly, yet somehow still so surprisingly, it started to rain. I watched and filmed from the stands as the teams gathered on the pitch and listened to Marc Thompson iron out the rules for the tournament and explain that the pitches had been split into four, 7 a side sections and each company would play their pool matches until the knockout stage. He reminded everyone why we were there and it was apparent that this was a day that we would never forget. Before I knew it, the whistle went and the first lot of games started. 

Though the stands weren’t packed like they would be during an actual Chelsea game, the spectators who turned up to support the teams created the most incredible atmosphere. It was evident throughout the day that football really does bring people together. Even for those who aren’t avid fans of the big game, there is no denying that the combination of playing football with the pure purpose of raising money for some of the most deserving people around the world is a combination that cannot be beaten.

Believe it or not, our team were pretty good, a lot more nimble than I expected and there were goals all over the place. We made it through to the semi-final and were moved to a different corner of the pitch. The semi-final got off to a good start, goals, tackles, ‘tekkers’, everything was going so well, until…

Jon took a dive, or so it seemed. I saw him look around, almost as if someone had knocked him over, but the players on both teams were at the other side of the pitch. It soon became apparent that he was hurt – and not in the pansy premiership footballer fashion that they often pull to waste time.

Rich ran over to the rescue and carried him to the side of the pitch while I called over the medics who took one look at his foot and confidently suggested Jon had ruptured his Achilles. As I rushed out of the stadium to get my car to take Jon to hospital, the eruption of applause and cheers left me wondering whether our team had managed to get to the next stage of the competition…

Once Jon and I were at A&E, we had a call to say that the team had made it to the final (miracles do happen, guys)! We waited with bated breath (and a fair bit of pain for Jon) to find out the final match’s result. When we did finally hear word, it was with the disappointing news that they had narrowly been beaten, but this didn’t dampen their spirits. After all, they had made it to the final of a tournament, which exists to make other people’s lives better, at one of the most famous stadiums in the world, with a team whose combined age might equate to the actual size of the pitch – what is there to be upset about?

As the afternoon came to an end, the founders, players and additional evening guests started to arrive for the gala which included a beautiful 3-course meal, an auction, and guest star speaker, the one and only Kevin Keegan. I would absolutely love to go into more detail on this, but I was too busy wheeling Jon around a busy London A & E. Josh and Richard, however, did confirm it was an amazing evening. 

We are all incredibly grateful to have been asked to take part in such a wonderful and meticulously organised event, for a very special cause.

Head over to our Instagram @rjestateagent to get a taste of the day.

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