FA People's Cup 2017: Winners are Wembley bound
What a finale it was. A pulsating weekend of five-a-side action in Birmingham proved a fitting end to the 2017 FA People's Cup.
As the 96 teams who qualified for the finals were whittled down to 16 winners, we saw great skills, wonder goals and miracle saves, while tears (of joy and despair) were shed and legs left empty with the effort of trying to secure a place at the FA Cup final.
But here is our summary and tribute to the weekend's winners, and those who narrowly missed out...
Kingston Select picked up the weekend's first silverware, as they came out on top in the Under-14 Girls category, beating Elita 5s in the final.
A classic final in the Under-14 Boys category was won by Sproatley Juniors, beating the brilliant Rovers FC on penalties after a thrilling 4-4 draw.
Cedarsfield looked extremely strong in the Youth Disability final, beating Bromley Green Valiants 6-1, despite the opposition living up to their moniker.
And in the final match of the session, Aston Villa came out on top in the Female Disability category, beating Aylestone 4-0 after scoring freely in the group stages as well.
Liberties Vets retained their title in the Male Veterans category final, beating Harraby Catholic 1-0.
Wokingham UB50 beat Leeds Titans in a fractious Walking Football final, falling behind initially but capitalising on a Leeds sin-binning to win 3-1.
Wockey FC - recent converts from hockey as the name suggests - belied their inexperience by claiming the Female Higher Education title, beating Nottingham Medics in an enthralling penalty shootout.
'Messi' was the star of yet another major final, as a man wearing the Barcelona and Argentina forward's name on his shirt scored one and made another to help drag Filthy Fellas from a one-goal deficit to a 3-1 victory against Pathetico Madrid in the Male Higher Education category.
Sprowston Girls stormed to victory in the Under-16 Girls category, winning the final 4-1 against a valiant Plymouth Argyle side, who had weathered a titanic penalty shootout in the semi-final, winning 15-14.
Sprowston then attended to their media duties...
...while Dorking beat Handsworth Boys to the Under-16 Boys title, with late goals making the 5-1 final scoreline a little harsh as Handsworth tired.
In the Adult Male Disability League, Portland scored with the last kick of their final against Mill Hill to equalise and prevailed 3-1 in the shootout, while in the Championship section Warriors held off Bedford Griffin, securing the trophy with a 3-1 win in normal time.
The Adult Male Disability Premiership title went to Exeter City, who made a fast start in the final against South Tyneside Ability, going 2-0 up early on and running out comfortable winners, 4-1.
Hackney Jurassics followed the lead of Liberties Vets from Sunday, retaining their trophy in the Female Vets category with a controlled, composed 2-0 win over Armley FC in the final. Unbeaten all day, they proved worthy winners.
A fiercely competitive Adult Male section finished with Woolpack United prevailing in a fast-paced final against KO5. There were plenty of ball skills on show but the man of the match was undoubtedly Woolpack's keeper, whose string of saves kept KO5 down to a solitary, early goal - 2-1 the final score.
And in the last action of the tournament, Plymouth overcame Norton and Stockton Ancients to become Adult Female champions. A hard-fought battle was settled by a deflected shot in the final minute that deceived the goalkeeper. Heartbreaking for Norton - ecstasy for Plymouth at the last.
Thanks - and see you next year?
Many thanks are due to everyone involved in putting together the FA People's Cup, from the staff at football centres all over the country to the volunteers, supporters and, of course, the 40,000-plus players who signed up to make it the biggest and best five-a-side competition this country has ever seen.
And if you think you can do better than the players you have seen on show this year, why not sign up for the 2018 FA People's Cup? Register your interest here. See you all in 2018!