100 years of football in T&T

Date Published: 
2008-07-27
Source: 
Trinidad Express

On July 27, 1908, Scottish-born Thomas Boyd along with representatives from Casuals, Clydesdale, Local Forces, Queen's Royal College, Shamrock and St Mary's College met and decided to form the TAFA (Trinidad Amateur Football Association).

Today, as we celebrate the 100th anniversary of that event, we are indeed extremely proud to not only pay tribute to those pioneers, but most definitely, to the countless others who have made invaluable contributions to the development, growth and success of the game over the past 100 years.

We can begin with the clubs, players, officials and supporters of the POSFL, NAFL, SAFA, SAFL, East St. George FA, Arima FA, Central FA, and Tobago FA, all inter-league, North-South, Youth and Senior National selections, the Women's, Colleges, Secondary and Primary Schools' Leagues, as well as every parent, teacher and sports master.

Next would be the organisers of the Sunday-morning and Minor Leagues all across this twin-island Republic, that included people like 'Pin' Smith, Mervyn 'Mervina' Alleyne, Linton Brown, Ivan Williams, Eddie Hart, Vernon Seales, 'Lad' Seymour, John Thomas and Paul Castillo.

Then there were those remarkable and selfless individuals like Kelvin 'Pa' Aleong, Bertie Thompson, Joffre Chambers, Rex Dewhurst, Horace Springer, J. Hamilton Holder, A. J. DeFour, Hugo Gunning, Hugh McDavid, Dom Basil Matthews, John Camacho, Cyril Lopez, Ernie Hinds, Leroy Morris, Joseph Correia, Eddie Furlonge, Roy Joseph, Mark Moody-Stuart, Lieut. Comm. Charles Hayward, Eric James, Ken Galt, Percy Knox, Frederick Martinez, Robbie Greenidge, Tony Gouveia, Sonny Vincent Brown, 'Fix-up' Lopez, the NAFL's Groundsman Stanley, the 'Scotsman' John Miller, and Suriname's August Wooter, to name just a few among the many.

We also had the good fortune of having fair, experienced and competent referees, who contributed in no small measure to the proper administration and control of games.

Men with integrity like George Cumberbatch, Harold Burnett, Tommie Nathaniel, Carlton Dore, Alvin 'Golden Boy' Rodrigues, Prior Jones, Len Jardine, Lloyd DeGouville, Roderick Yeates, Osmond Downer, Eric Marache, Victor Noel, 'Vap' Prizgar, CZ Bain, George Chin Cheong, Felix Borde, Eric Monteil, John Alleyne, and many others too numerous to mention.

Eighty-one years ago, the English FA donated the Trophy that is today competed for in the oldest, most prestigious competitive knock-out tournament in local football, but there is also an extremely long list of Individual and corporate trophy and cup donors, whose contributions were equally important in establishing and supporting the numerous League and Knock-out competitions all across this country.

And last, but definitely not least, we were blessed with very knowledgeable and informed Sports editors and journalists in both the print and electronic media.

Finally, as we celebrate this centennial with the highest tribute to our first-ever World Cup Finalist team, we also recognise and acknowledge the tremendous contribution of all those who paved the way before them, and we look forward with renewed confidence and optimism to the game's next 100 years.

Veteran Footballers' Foundation

praymond@cima-ae.com