At a time when most of Bradford was tucked up in bed, six teams battled it out to become this year’s League Champions.

Fairbank United has been running its annual Ramadan Midnight League during the month of Ramadan.

The tournament, backed by the West Riding County FA, consisted of players from past and present, in mixed teams that competed in firstly a league format, before progressing to the knockout stages.

“We purposely chose midnight as a time for the game to be played, as it allows all the players and supporters to not only finish their fast but also be able to pray the Thravee prayer, which can last up to an hour in the evening,” explains Hamza Shazad, one of the tournament’s organisers.

“Everyone is then energised and ready to play.”

Yaser Mohammed, a fellow key member of the organising committee, described the competition’s origins: Someone from the West Riding County FA suggested the idea, but many at the club thought it was a ludicrous idea initially.

“But the more we discussed it, the more we realised how popular the idea was amongst the club members. During Ramadan many Muslims also give to charity, so we also added that dimension, and it’s gone from strength to strength!”

The first semi-final saw Gamefight defeat Adams Foodservice, while VisionCare came through their semi-finals with a win on Penalties.

Cha Cha Chai secured the Conference Trophy, a playoff between the bottom two teams, as they beat the Bata All-Stars.

The final, which concluded the nights football at 1:30 am, saw Visioncare secure the title, with their striker Usman Hussain securing the top goalscorer trophy.

“I played for the club as a 10-year-old, and don’t really play the game anymore, but I love how the tournament brings us all together. The trophy has got away from us this year, but we’ll be back next year to reclaim it,” said Kashif Khan, last year’s winning captain.

The tournament managed to raise £7702 for charity. This year Fairbank United has worked with Green Cresent Aid UK, who will deliver food packs for those caught up in the war in Gaza, and was sponsored by Steelis Workwear.

The first two weeks of the competition were played out at the Speedball Centre, which suddenly closed two days before the finals were due to be played.

Thankfully the 5 Alive 5 a side centre in Fairweather Green learnt of the situation and opened up specially so the event could be successfully concluded.

“The competition is really a side issue for our true intentions, which was to raise as much money for those in need.

“Our heart goes out to the innocent people caught up in the war. We hope the money raised will benefit the families and help alleviate some of the suffering.

“On behalf of the club, I’d like to thank the sponsors, referees and everyone who donated to this worthwhile cause,” said winning manager, and club captain Bllal Saleem.