COMMUNITY organisations have united in a football competition.

Nineteen teams from different organisations took part in the Together Cup, an event organised by Wigan Council, Wigan Athletic Community Trust and Inspiring Healthy Lifestyles.

Teams involved include Leigh Asylum Seeker and Refugee Support (LASARS), young people representing the Reclaim Project and youth groups Leigh Youth Voice and Global Friends.

A youth team from West Bromwich Albion who travelled up north for their club's Championship clash with Wigan Athletic, also took part in the tournament.

Giulia Kelemen, 12, from Leigh, who is originally from Romania, competed in the event.

She said: "It was hard work but really fun. We started off as strangers but made new friends because it was all about teamwork."

Rachel Lawrence, 12, from Leigh, added: "It’s been exciting even though we didn’t win. It was good because everyone enjoyed it and it shows we all have lots of similarities and should all be equal."

Winners of the adult competition were from Leigh Genesis Football Club and junior winners were from Hindley Kicks.

Cllr Chris Ready, portfolio holder for communities and neighbourhoods at the council, said: "The tournament was all about building positive community relations through football, bringing people together and encouraging respect for each other.

"It was a superb event. There were people involved who originally come from countries all over the world, people of all different ages and abilities, and everyone had a smile on their face.

"October is black history month so it’s an appropriate time to provide opportunities to work together to build stronger communities."

Wigan Athletic chief executive Jonathan Jackson added: "The event brought together so many different communities from across Wigan Borough, which was great as it gave them all an opportunity to meet new people and make new friends, while also playing competitive football.

"To then be able to welcome participants to our first team fixture against West Bromwich Albion later that afternoon was brilliant because for a number of them it was their first experience of watching a professional football fixture in a live environment."