Interview: Leicester Falcons Soar to Victory in Honour of the Air Ambulance

Artboard 1 Copy



Openhouse Interview American Football star, Alec Grant of […]

Artboard 1 Copy



Openhouse Interview American Football star, Alec Grant of the Leicester Falcons, to find out more about their charitable game against the Peterborough Saxons.

American Football is now more than a growing sport in the UK, establishing itself firmly as a staple sport for its millions of British fans. In 2014, 40,000 people above the age of 16 were regularly playing American Football, which is a near double increase from 2011. There has been an enormous rise in the sport’s popularity since NFL teams started playing over here in 2007 and it doesn’t look like this is going to stop anytime soon.

Artboard 1 Copy 10

The NFL will now tour to the UK at least twice a season, as Tottenham Hotspur, perhaps the most American Football sounding team in the Premier League, have agreed a 10 year deal to host and have promised to build a synthetic American Football pitch that can be pulled over the ‘soccer’ field.

Artboard 1 Copy 9



Our interest in the sport was peaked when Leicester Falcons, an American Football team that have been going in the UK for 9 years, recently played a charity match against their rivals, Peterborough Saxons, raising money for the Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Rutland Air Ambulance.

We spoke to the Falcon’s veteran Defensive Back, Alec Grant, about the match and their charity work for the Air Ambulance.Artboard 1 Copy 8

Can you tell us a bit about the Leicester Falcons?

I can! The team was founded in 2006 for adults to play American Football in the summer, and in 2007 they were awarded with membership to the British American Football League.

In 2009, our second season as a league team, we made it all the way to the Play Off Final, and became Champions of Division 2, and in 2010 we managed to sign an ex-NFL player, Bradlee Van Pelt, and we took the club to the Division 1 Play Offs, but we lost in a close match to a very good team in Scotland called, East Kilbride. In 2011 we made it to the final and lost to Kilbride again, we were absolutely hammered this time. 

Since then we’ve been developing the team after losing some of our experienced players, rebuilding it almost from scratch.

Artboard 1 Copy 7



Did you play in any of those Play Off Finals?

I’ve played for Leicester Falcons since 2008, when they entered the league, so I have featured in all of the playoffs we’ve played in.Artboard 1 Copy 6

So what was the game on 5th July, was it a league game? 

Yeah, that was one of our season games this year against one of the better sides in the league, and our rivals, Peterborough Saxons. Earlier in the season they beat us at their ground 30-3, so there was a bit of a score to settle.

What happened in the match?
We ended up winning 26-13, so that was a happy result. It was a close game but we controlled it for the most part, and though both teams made mistakes we eventually edged it. We needed the win as it’s been a slow start to the season and this will hopefully put us on track again for a place in the play offs this year.

Congratulations! How did you fair in the game?                Artboard 1 Copy 5

I did quite well, it was a more physical game than I am used to. I prefer the runaround and catching the ball rather than going head first into the tackles, but it was a tough game and I needed to get involved a lot more. I knew that I was pretty involved after looking at all the bruises I had on the Monday Morning!

It was a special day too, you were encouraged to bring your friends and family along to donate to the Air Ambulance charity, did anybody come to cheer you on?

I personally didn’t, my family were on holiday, and my brothers were both moving house, but fortunately everyone else managed to get a decent amount of support down. We’ve been playing at Hinckley United’s old football stadium as they folded as a team couple of years ago, leaving us a stadium to play in and nice facilities, so there was a good attendance.

Artboard 1 Copy 3



You even had a half time show, like in the American leagues.

Yeah, we have support from a Hinckley cheerleading group, they put a show on before the game and at half time doing all sorts of acrobatics, and we have some American food stalls as well that cater the game, selling pulled pork burgers and corn dogs.

Were you chomping on pulled pork burgers at half time?

Not quite, but definitely after the game! It was a tough match.

Did they mention anything about the Charity during the game?

Yeah, we have a PA that name checks the players throughout the game and they were encouraging people to donate to the air ambulance and telling the crowd what an incredibly worthy cause it is to support.

Openhouse also caught up with Team Manager of the Leicester Falcons, Guy Kersey, to find out why they chose the Air Ambulance as their chosen Charity, he told us:

They are often the difference between life and death for many amateur sportsmen and women. The rapid response in remote locations that the air ambulance supply is invaluable.Artboard 1 Copy 2

Artboard 1 Copy 10

Openhouse are a supplier of equipment and bespoke bags to emergency helicopter services around the UK, if you would like any information on what we could do for you please get in touch with our team of experts today.