Football And Table Tennis In Trinidad

Date Published: 
Jamaica Gleaner

Footballers, Who Came Here In 1935-36, Help Their Clubs To Win Trophies.

NEWS OF SPORTS in Trinidad is always welcome here, particularly so when it concerns individuals who are to some extent known or had been seen on the football field here. The football season of that colony was concluded on the 18th of December, although there were a few matches still to be replayed.

The T.A.F.A. Shield, the major football trophy in Trinidad or equivalent to our First Division, was retained by Sporting Club after playing three matches with the Casual F.C. to decide the vexed issue. The champions are represented by some of the players who came here with the colony's team in 1935-36, and so are the losers.

Perhaps, it must be said here that the decision was not arrive at until the Sporting Club included on the side, John Sutherland, "the South Trinidad's classy goal-getter" on the front line and so were able to come through by 2 goals to nil. Sutherland, it will be remembered, was seen to marked advantage at inside-left for the Trinidadians in Jamaica.

Himself and A. G. Alkins, who plays at centre forward for the champions, were the most dangerous forwards of the visitors out here. For the Casuals, J. F. Merry was one of the backs, and Botha Tench, whom many in Jamaica believe to be the best centre half ever to come here, was in his usual position.


As regards to the match it is said that Sutherland stole all the honours, acquitting himself in a manner that stamped "him as one of those rare geniuses that only appear on the soccer stage once in a while." Both teams, it is further stated, could well have been of equal strength, in the absence of Sutherland. He was responsible for one of the goals.

The Football Association Cup, the equivalent to our Senior Knockout trophy, was also a bone of contention before it finally found a resting place in the clubhouse of the United British (Trinidad) Oilfields F.C. This was one of the matches which had to be played after the final day of the season. The final was actually played on December 18 between themselves and Shamrock, but they played to a goalless draw.

The re-play came on the following Tuesday, and the U.B.O.T. edged out a victory by the odd goal in five after a thrilling struggle. There are two football bodies in Trinidad, The Trinidad Amateur Football Association, and the Southern Amateur Football League. The F.A. Cup winners play in the latter league and are believed to be the strongest combination of the south.


John Sutherland is also their leading forward, and on the half-line was Wilkes who also visited Jamaica. Frank Ambard was in goal for the Shamrock. Sutherland netted the third of his side's goals, and Ambard's team, trailing 2-0 at half-time although having the better of the play, was up to eight minutes to time down 3-0. They then stages a rally to net twice.

Other first league trophies decided were; the Goodyear Cup won outright by Notre Dame, for which club Burnett, who played at outside-right out here, plays; the Gooden-Chisholm Cup won by Leaseholds F.C., for which Thompson Hadden, the former Kingston and Jamaica back, turned out; Gilbert Skinner Cup won by the S.A.F. League, and the Roodal Cup won by T.A.F.A.

One other of these replays for first league trophies took place on Thursday, December 23, for the B.D.V. Cup between Maple and Shamrock. They had played to a draw on the Thursday of the previous week. Notre Dame hold the Goodyear trophy permanently by virtue of winning it two years in succession. It was first competed for in 1929.

His Excellency the Acting Governor, Sir Mark Young, K.C.M.G., presented the trophies which were decided on the last day of the season.


Although it does not concern football, it would however be interesting to note that Willie Payne, the Trinidad outside-left who was a visitor out here, made history on the night he was crowned ping pong champion of Trinidad in the tournament run by the Maple Club.

Like his strongest foot in football, he is a left-handed player, and in beating Alred Fernandes in the final produced what is said to be the highest standard of table tennis ever witnessed in the colony. Payne won in straight sets in the best out of five—24—22, 21—16, 21—17.

"Puzzling services were the chief factors in deciding the championship," runs one report of the match. "When the first set had cone to deuce Payne's services told the tale as former champion Fernandes, no matter how he tried, was unable to return them."

The former champion offered a great deal of opposition in the other two sets, but Payne's "beautifully places smashes, which culminated in spinning rallies invariably pierced his hitherto impregnable defence."