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Norwich, Norfolk, United Kingdom, 2006/11/14 - Grudge match: Car insurers Flux and HIC battled it out in pre-FA Cup bitter table football game with £1000 riding on the outcome. And it was all filmed by the BBC - AdrianFlux.co.uk.
Seldom has a football match caused as much controversy in the world of car insurance as Bishop's Stortford vs. King's Lynn in the FA Cup (Sat Nov 11th 2006).
Steven ‘Wam’ Yardley is a fanatical ‘Linnets’ (King’s Lynn) man. He even works for the sponsors of the King's Lynn youth team, car specialist Adrian Flux Insurance. Meanwhile in Bishop's Stortford lives Paul Challis, a devoted Stortford supporter who works for a rival car insurance company, Herts Insurance Consultants (HIC).
Last year Flux bought HIC, since when a friendly rivalry between the two companies has given an edge to their relationship.
When the FA Cup draw pitted Lynn with Stortford, that rivalry sharpened and reached fever pitch on 8th November, at Flux’s head office, when Wam and Paul duelled for the honour of club and company.
Their chosen weapon? Extreme table football. What made it extreme was the stakes: the directors of Flux and HIC each put up £500 on the outcome, winner takes all, with the £1,000 going to the winner’s football club.
The game was played under floodlights provided by BBC TV, who were filming the event as part of a preview of the game proper. Wam was playing with Paul Adams, underwriting manager at Flux while Paul’s teammate was Andy Morton, head of HIC.
The match was refereed by Nicola Bray, who added a touch of footie nous to the occasion: top scorer for King's Lynn Ladies FC last season, she recently transferred to Hethersett Ladies FC and has just been selected for the Norfolk squad.
The Flux/Linnets team stormed into a 3-0 lead in the first-to-9 game, but by half time they were losing 5-3 and HIC’s Andy Morton was predicting a comfortable win for the Stortford supporters. However, Wam and Paul came back brilliantly, surging ahead to lead 8-5. In a nail-biting climax HIC pulled it back to 8-7 before Wam scored the winning goal to jubilant cries from the ‘home’ crowd.
King’s Lynn FC’s commercial manager Charlotte Rham was on hand to accept the £1,000 winnings from Wam and Paul on behalf of King's Lynn FC, while the BBC’s Mike Liggins presented a cup to the Flux team.
After Flux’s Paul Adams had apologised for his post-match celebrations, HIC’s Andy Morton said: “It’s a shame it couldn’t have been a five-a-side game, but we’d have made the Flux guys look silly. Paul Challis and I are absolutely gutted, but the backing of home crowd obviously tipped the balance in favour of the Flux team.”
And in the real FA Cup? King's Lynn beat Bishop's Stortford 5 - 3.