Staff from three local businesses are set to represent Sunderland and County Durham in the finals of a national charity football tournament.

ZF Group, County Durham Housing Group (CDHG) and Port of Sunderland were all triumphant in the Sunderland heat of the national Business Fives tournament on Tuesday (26 Feb).

Held in glorious winter sunshine at Goals Sunderland, ZF Group won the tournament with CDHG finishing as runner up and Port of Sunderland winning the third place play-off.

The three teams will now go on to represent the region and their chosen charities in the national finals in Edinburgh where they will be joined by 30 other companies from across the UK.

John McClarey, managing director of Business Fives, said: “We had a fantastic debut event in Sunderland supported by a host of local companies playing for some brilliant and worthy local causes.

“The event was played out in the glorious winter sunshine and the weather was matched by the fundraising efforts and skills of the teams involved.  It’s great to see such a high standard in Sunderland and we wish the teams that qualified all the best in the national final.”

Teams playing in the Business Fives tournament raise money for charities of their choice with ZF Group representing the Great North Air Ambulance, CDHG raising money for Prostate Cancer UK and Port of Sunderland for Maxilo Facial Surgery in Newcastle.

Councillor Graeme Miller, leader of Sunderland City Council and chair of Port of Sunderland, said: “Not only was it great fun for the boys but it was a great team building exercise and helped raise money for some fantastic causes.

“We are so proud of the teams and are thankful to everyone who helped raise money for each of the respective charities along the way. Now we just need to hope they carry their form into the finals!”