Daley dives in to help team land cash bonus
NEW city football team OPMs won a £2,000 grant with the help of Olympic diver Tom Daley.
The team, formed from former Plymouth College students, was trying to win one of 10 cash prizes in a Phones 4u competition.
The vote-driven 'upgrade your team' campaign was fronted by ex-England defender Gareth Southgate.
With 10 minutes to go until the end of the on-line competition, the OPMs footballers were in 11th position – one place off winning £2,000.
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They needed just 70 votes on the Facebook campaign to make it into the top 10.
Enter Olympic bronze medallist and Plymouth College student Daley, who broadcast a tweet urging support for the OPMs bid.
Following Daley's tweet, and the immense backing of the local community, OPM FC brought their tally to 722 votes in the final few nail-biting seconds of the competition, placing them in joint 10th place.
As a result, Phones 4u awarded both teams in joint 10th place the £2,000 prize fund.
Dec Reed, manager, co-founder and player at the club, said: "Making it into the final 10 by the skin of our teeth is unbelievable!
"The support from the community was just staggering; it makes me wonder how one vote would have lost us the money.
"I am so grateful to all of the 722 voters as we couldn't have done it without them and the OPM committee."
He added: "When we entered the competition with only 10 days to go, we always knew it would be an uphill struggle but people were so generous with their time.
"The members of the club really pulled together, and I was thrilled by the efforts and support of the local people, including Plymouth College and Tom Daley who tweeted for us and helped clinch the prize at the last minute.
"The money will have a hugely positive impact on the club. We're currently trying to expand and have many expenses to account for including training costs, kits, first aid kit, nets, pitch costs and insurance.
"It would be easy to spend the money in a few weeks but we want it to last over the next 18 months or so, to utilise it to its maximum benefit."
Reed, whose club have two six-a-side teams, is hoping to use some of the cash to create an 11-a-side team next season.
OPMs were promoted in their first-ever season in the Estover Sunday League. They played 10, won seven, drew two and lost one.