A NOVEL variation of Oxfordshire’s most popular pub game will see competitors put their best foot forward for a charity tournament on Sunday.

Recruitment company boss Lee Smith, 37, is hosting the county’s first ‘Foot Sally’ tournament in aid of Sobell House Hospice.

Mr Smith came up with the variation of Aunt Sally – the traditional game that involves throwing sticks at a wooden ‘dolly’ – as a child.

He said: “Aunt Sally is a popular game around Oxfordshire. I’m terrible at it; the last time I played the stick went over a wall into the next-door garden. Being massive football fans, me and my brother Daniel played it kicking balls instead of throwing sticks when we were younger.

“I decided I wanted to do something for Sobell House and over a few beers in the Chequers pub, the idea came to fruition.”

A total of 60 people across 10 teams have signed up for the event, which will run from 1pm until late at the Chequers Inn in Beaumont Road.

So far, £600 has been raised for Sobell House through ticket sales, and it is hoped drinks and a barbecue throughout the day will bring in an extra £400.

Mr Smith said: “From practice rounds I have had, it’s very hard. The game will be quite low-scoring. But it’s a good opportunity to get everyone together.

“Sobell House is such a good cause locally. My grandfather and a friend were cared for there. They look after so many people and are dear to lots of people.”

Those not signed up to the game are encouraged to come and watch. There will also be a raffle, with prizes including meals at the Four Pillars Hotel and games at Hinksey Heights Golf Club, and possibly a pub quiz. Raffle prizes are still being sought.

The Foot Sally tournament winner will be presented with a specially-designed trophy created by the Witney Trophy Centre.

Pub landlord Steve Jenkins said: “It’s a great idea. There are more Aunt Sally teams in Oxford than football teams. It’s really popular. ”

The hospice, based at the Churchill Hospital, Headington, offers palliative and end-of-life care to people in Oxfordshire while supporting their families. It costs about £m a year to run.

Sobell House corporate fundraiser Kelly Houghton said: “It seems like a really nice fundraiser.”

For more information about the event or to submit a raffle prize, contact Mr Smith on 07507 254720.