GALLERY: Johnny Warren Cup pulls in record numbers

Immediately after the latest staging of the Johnny Warren Memorial Cup and accompanying cycling classic ended, event organisers labelled it the biggest yet.

The two-day over-35s football tournament attracted 40 teams from across the state.

And more than 600 riders took part in the 96-kilometre ride from Loftus in Sydney’s south to Jamberoo yesterday.

‘‘Everybody thoroughly enjoyed it and we got some wonderful feedback,’’ said Jamie Warren, event organiser and nephew of late Socceroos great Johnny Warren.

‘‘Some of the new teams that were in it will be back next year. It’s been great for the local community and the Kiama Lions Club have been a fantastic contributor to the success of the weekend through their volunteers and subsequent donations.

‘‘We had about 600 riders, which was a record number for the event. It augurs well for a significant contribution to The Chris O’Brien Lifehouse at RPA.’’

Kiama ensured that the Johnny Warren Memorial Cup would remain in the Illawarra after they saw off a spirited Sydney Brazilian Social Club, featuring ex-Socceroo Craig Foster, in the over-35s final. Kiama won the match 2-1.

The Canarinhos toppled Maccabi on penalties to win the over-45s section.

‘‘It was a really high standard of football with the local guys, and Craig Foster was in the Brazilian team,’’ Warren said.

‘‘The 45s was a very well received addition to the event. It’s a part of the event that will grow and we’ll probably look at doing 16 teams next year for the 45s.’’

Olympic gold medallist Brad McGee was a welcome inclusion in the Johnny Warren Jamberoo Classic.

And he brought along for the ride his NSW Institute of Sport team, which he now coaches

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