Cyrille Regis encourages Midlands clubs to enter the Ding Dong Derby
THE run-in to the 201516 campaign will be over by then, but the West Midlands’ Football League and grass-roots clubs will race against topflight neighbours Aston Villa and West Brom in the Great Birmingham 10k on May 1.
Midlands football legend Cyrille Regis helped launch the inaugural Ding Dong Derby Cup in Birmingham’s Victoria Square this week, and urged clubs across the region to join Villa, the Baggies, Birmingham, Wolves, Walsall and Coventry in entering teams.
From Premier League outfits at the tip of the footballing Pyramid down to Sunday League sides at grass-roots level, clubs of all sizes can enter.
Each team must be at least four-a-side, up to a maximum of eight runners, although there is no limit on how many teams each club can enter. Any club that enters 12 or more runners will receive its own personalised engraved plaque in the name of its fastest runner.
The Ding Dong Derby Cup gets its name from the phrase made famous by Free Radio’s Tom Ross in describing local affairs down the years, and ex-England hitman Regis said: “I played for four of the clubs involved and know how competitive they all are.
“They’ll be desperate to beat their local rivals and get their hands on the Ding Dong Derby cup!
“But this is a chance for the smaller teams in the region to go head- to-head with the big boys and pip them to the silverware.”
Coventry coach Jamie Clapham, the 40-year-old ex-Blues and Wolves defender, said: “Having experienced a few big derbies myself, I know how important it is to get the edge over your local rivals and it’ll be no different in the Great Birmingham 10k.
“Our running team will be put through a difficult training course to make sure Coventry City will be lifting the Ding Dong Derby Cup.”
Phil Hayward, head of Wolves’ medical department who will be part of the Molineux team, added: “We’re looking forward to proving again that we are without doubt the fittest backroom staff in the region.”
Starting at 11am, more than 7,000 people are expected to take part in the Great Birmingham 10k which begins and finishes in the city centre.
GAME ON! Free Radio’s Tom Ross, left, with Cyrille Regis UP FOR IT: