The Silicon Gorge football tournament started back in 2000 when Carson Bradbury, from Mentor Graphics, John Moor & Richard Phelps , both at PixelFusion, had the great idea of a footie competiton for the fabless-semi companies in the Bristol Gorge area. The "founders" gathered teams from 6 companies together at PRO 5:- Element 14, Infineon, MotionMedia, Pixelfusion, Quadrics, ST Microelectronics. Surprisingly PixelFusion (shown here) won the challenge that very first time and as a result John Moor was forced to dig deep into his pockets to buy champagne to fill the trophy!
Mentor Graphics is pleased to be able to continue what has become an annual tradition. Although the number of teams taking part changes, depending on the state of the semiconductor sector, there has always been at least 12 teams.
The 2004 event had a particularly interesting twist when approx 20 "executives" from the participating companies took part in a penalty shoot out competition. Many took it quite seriously and turned up in sports-kit but the winner was the smartly dressed gentleman in pin-stripe suit and city brogues!
The tournament celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2010 by inviting some "upstarts" from Cambridge and this subsequently spawned a Silicon Fen competition the next year in Cambridge.
"13" maybe unlucky for some. But in 2012, the 13th anniversary, the tournament was blessed with fabulous weather which was just as well as Silicon Gorge aquired the Silicon Fen competition and eight teams travelled from the far away cities of Cambridge, Newbury, Sheffield and Stevenage.
At the end of the day, the reason this event remains successful is that its about injecting a bit of fun into the frenetic pace of engineering and business life. No one takes it too seriously, except the winners, and it gets the designers out of the office to play a bit of football or just support their colleagues. And finally, in addition to the wide ranging standards of football, the event also includes a more relaxed time to socialise during a BBQ which rounds off the day nicely.