A WHOPPING 40 teams have entered the Orphanage Cup this year as it celebrates its 90th anniversary.

The tournament final will take place at the home of AFC Darwen on 4 June. Before then teams representing businesses and public organisations will battle it out through the knockout phases.

The tournament has been running since 1932 when the Orphanage Cup competition started life as the Infirmary Cup.

Local businessman Sir John Rutherford Bart donated the trophy still used today to Blackburn Royal Infirmary to be competed for by football teams from local mills and workshops.

Following World War Two, when the NHS was established, the 11-a-side cup competition sought to raise money for Blackburn Orphanage. Over time, Blackburn Orphanage has evolved into Child Action Northwest (CANW), but the Orphanage Cup has remained.

Lancashire Telegraph:

Organisers said: “We’re delighted to have 40 teams taking part this year – the most we have had in over 10 years and we feel honoured to have so many North-West businesses in our corner.”

The competition launches at the Lancashire FA headquarters on Thursday (March 31) where a live draw will decide the first round of games, which are due to kick off in mid-April.