Blackpool's Sports Club 17th Anniversary

Blackpool Sports Club Members
Blackpool Sports Club Members Reporters
Event Date: February 25, 2007
Posted: February 28, 2007

The Blackpool Sports Club hosted their 17th Anniversary on Sunday 25th February, 2007, at their Mount Lambert based facility where everyone gathered for the traditional annual reunion of 'the boys'.

The club started in the sixties as a community-based group with players from Mount Lambert and the surrounding areas. In the formative years of the club, most of the members were still attending school. The club consists of the First Division for the top players, the Second Division for the reserved players and the Third Division for the juvenile players aged nineteen years and under. Even though the club grew in membership over the years, it wasn't until after the passing of one of the members, Cecil 'Raje' Joseph, that the fete match events started being hosted and are now an annual tradition of the Blackpool Sports Club.

The first Sunday after every Carnival is dedicated to the reunion of these sportsmen who honour members for their outstanding efforts with tokens of appreciation. Even though there is the sports participation amongst the members, this occasion has become more than a fete match and presentations of tokens. The reunion is most essential to help keep 'the boys' in touch with each other. This year, two other members who have passed on, Stephen 'Toyo' Francis and Arthur 'Jap' Brown were also remembered for their services.

For the event, the football match was held at the open Aranguez Savannah in brilliant sunshine which provided good conditions for the match. The evening began with the guys greeting and refamiliarizing themselves with each other and catching up on old times. These lovers of sports, particularly football and cricket, are usually busy most of their lives with work and with family. In fact, many of them currently reside in the United States and Europe and may only get to meet 'the boys' once a year.

At about 5.15pm, two teams were formed and they were instructed to take their positions on the field where they engaged in an amicable but aggressive football match. There were no official names of the two teams except that one team wore blue and the other red, hence, 'Blue team' and 'Red team'. Even though the younger players demonstrated their agility, it was an exciting challenge for the older players who, for many plays, had the advantage of being more proficient.

The crowd, which consisted of about one hundred, stood on the outskirts of the playing field to observe the football match. Totally engrossed in the game, the crowd "oohed" and "aahed" in response to significant plays and when goals were scored. Many passers-by, including those who were at the Savannah for their afternoon work-out sessions, took time to observe the exciting match and also engaged in conversations about the game.

After a good work out on the field, the game came to an end and the team in red came out victorious with a score of 2:0. The players hugged and congratulated each other before walking off the field and were further congratulated by the crowd for a game well played.

Following the game, the players and some of the other members of the club conducted a postmortem of the match. Everyone then left the Savannah and headed toward the final meeting place for a brief award ceremony followed by a festive evening.

The award ceremony started immediately after members and their families were gathered in the front yard of the Mount Lambert home. Due to limited space, some stood outside on the pavement looking over the wall to witness the presentations.

The members who were awarded for their various contributions to sport are as follows:

Receiving honorary tablets were: Dodridge, Byron Rudder, Edward Hart, Ken Hodge, Ronnie Jackson and Cecil 'Stone Age' Everson.

Receiving medals were: Stephen 'Red' Dickson, Randolph Campbell and Arthur 'Foodie' Douglas.

Selby Browne, the Chairman of the evening's proceedings and a committee member, served the Blackpool's east team, Trinidad's zonal team, Q.R.C. and Malvern's Sport's Club. After the award ceremony, he invited members to address the gathering. Saying a few words of congratulations were coach Polly Regis who commended the club for what they have been doing and the people who supported the club and Mr. Leslie Joseph who said that it was an honour to have worked with the people who surrounded him that evening.

In attendance were significant contributors to the sporting arena such as Ken Hodge and Clive Niles who represented Malvern during the sixties and were members of the famous team where seven players were selected to represent the Port of Spain Football League and to represent north Trinidad and the Trinidad and Tobago National Team.

Also present was Jan Steadman who was a member of the glorious St. Benedict Football Team which dominated college league football in the mid-sixties. The nucleus of that team went on to represent south Trinidad and then the Trinidad and Tobago National Team, culminating in Trinidad and Tobago's successful performance for the 1974 World Cup qualifiers. Jan Steadman, at an early age, received a contract to represent the New York Generals/New York Cosmos in 1967 along with fellow Trinidadian Clive Miloman Burnett. Today Jan is coach of the St. Benedict College Team.

Attending the festivities were some members of Malvern's rival team Maple Football Club, such as North Zone and Trinidad captain Polly Regis, Steadley Joseph and former QRC players Ellis and Burmon Sadaphal.

Representing the Colt's Football Team were Carlton Francis Captain of the Colts, Lodric Harper Captain of north Trinidad and Trinidad squad and Kelly Harper.

At the end of the award ceremony everyone seemed to be in high spirits and the festivities continued well into the night with the sweet sounds of the Utopia Pan Soul Steelband.

The organizers and participants of the Blackpool Sports Club truly represent a multigenerational effort to share the fruits of their hard work with the youth in preparation for their future as potential sportsmen.

Blackpool Sports Club 17th Anniversary in pictures:

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