Trinidad Tour: Should Allen Lead Jamaica XI?

Date Published: 
Jamaica Gleaner

Only nine days to go before the arrival of the Trinidad team to open the first football tournament in Jamaica since the visit of the Oxford & Cambridge combination in 1938 and considering the amount of spade work the Jamaica Football Association has put in to bring this about and in preparing our players for the coming test we now look forward to an harmonious and successful series.

The programme, the players of either side and the prices of admission are now common property with the public. It is an expensive trip, and the prices were all calculated with a view of rather covering expenses then turning the tour into a profit-making affair. However, a profit means much to the well-being of Jamaica's football, as the Association (which is representative of our Clubs) could under the circumstances be able to plan for the future—not only being able to invite other overseas teams on its own guarantee, but the idea of getting out an English coach might be made a reality; etc.

The public is reminded that bookings opened at Messrs. Levy Bros. (Mr. Ivan Levy's Office); Port Royal St., from Monday last. Avoiding the rush is greatly advocated.


As I pointed out in one of my articles last week a poll taken from the teams sent in by a number of readers shows that the Selectors did a good job picking the Jamaica Team for the first Test on February 12. J. K. Holt and H. Walters got full votes but the most popular choice of the "amateur selectors" of a player who is not on the team is A. S. Dujon, the Melbourne goalkeeper.

George Allen, coach and captain and inside-left, got about 80 per cent of favour, but I have since received a couple letters protesting his selection on the side.

Mr. George Tucker writes on the matter as follows: "I am more than surprised to see the inclusion of Major George Allen on the side and moreso as captain. Regardless of how good a player he is, he should never be even considered, because Trinidad is coming to play Jamaica and Major Allen is no Jamaican. I feel we should use a Jamaica team and a Jamaican lad to captain the team."


Mr. Caswell Larwood Rodney contributes: "I am protesting the move of playing Major Allen, as I think a Jamaican should be given the first choice and that youth should be the consideration."

Now I have had plenty opportunity to discuss this point with many fans and players, and as I usually submitted I do so here again. Were Harry Paxton and Capt. Harvey any more Jamaican than Allen when they not only played for but captained Jamaica? Thompson Hadden, who played against the 1935-36 Trinidad Team migrated a couple of months from Trinidad before the event! Arthur Wilkinson, the Trinidad captain, was an English schoolmaster.

The reply often to this is: Time has changed, and we are now thinking differently. My answer is: if we are changing to be more narrow in our way of thinking that a domiciled foreigner cannot represent us merely because he is English or, as the case may be, then give me the old thinking world. I am always of the opinion that we change for the better not the worse!


Didn't A. S. Wint and McDonald Bailey represent England many times at athletics last year? The only time they did not was in the European Championships in which there is a specific clause that each competitor must be European born. Do we have such a clause in our sports? And only yesterday there was a news item in the "Gleaner" to the effect that they will be wanted to represent Britain at the Olympics.

There are many instances of the native of one country representing the other in international sports. S. G. Smith of Trinidad played for the West Indies and the M.C.C. on many tours, also New Zealand. The late Major T. B. Nicholson captained Jamaica both at cricket and lawn tennis.

Let's have no more of this, and avoid undermining the home effort to win. I know that the members of the Jamaica XI are happy under Allen's leadership.