West Indian Soccer Team Doing Well In New York

Author: 
Linesman
Date Published: 
1947-08-08
Source: 
Jamaica Gleaner
Page: 
21

Lloyd Simmons Says

MEMBER of the only team of West Indians, mostly Jamaicans, playing league soccer (Association Football) in New York, Lloyd Simmons, who can be called American-Jamaican, arrived here at midnight on Saturday night by 'plane enthusiastic over the performance of the above team and plans for the future.

A law student at St. John University, Brooklyn, New York he received his earlier education at Cornwall College and represented the school in the Oliver Shield against Munro. Born of Jamaican parents in the U. S. A. he rejoined his parents in 1939 to continue his studies but the war came and he was drafted into the U.S. Army Air Corps for four years. Since resuming his studies he has completed his first five years and so only have two more years to go to pass out as a fullfledged American lawyer.

It is since the end of the war, too, that the Falcon F.C., which is a West Indian institution dating back to 1929, became active again and entered the Metropolitan Soccer Amateur League of New York. This year, they finished third, but in the opinion of all they were the best side in the competition.

Playing the English or European brand of football, as against the more "kick-and-rush" methods of their opponents they lost but two games for the season, and at one time won ten in succession. Incidentally they were headed by two teams, whose ancestors themselves migrated from Europe. These are the Swedish Club (Gjoa) and the Italian club.

The Falcons were unfortunate in meeting these two clubs in their opening matches when they were not at full strength due to the cricket season, which was not yet concluded and which for the most part is kept up by West Indians. They lost then to the Swedes 4-2 and the Italians 3-2. But in the return the West Indies were the victors 3-0 and 8-1 respectively. However, in the meantime their rivals, whose football is, of course, of the European brand, were beating all their rivals and were able to keep on top of the league.

HOME OF THE PLAYERS

Captain of the Falcons is H. Hibbert, formerly of Munro College, and plays at centre-half. Goalkeeper is tall R. Whittingham, J.P.S. Co player and will be remembered as a promising referee when he left Jamaica last year. K. Shand. also a Munro product, is the centre-forward.

But the most coloured player on the side is E. "Chico" Reid, the Lucas hardkicking back, who two seasons ago helped Lucas to win the Senior Knockout. His companion on the backline is Simmons, himself, who plays on the right of him.

Inspired by the meeting of Jamaica and Trinidad here in February and the annual visits of West Indian cricket teams to New York the Falcons had planned to get over a combined Jamaica-Trinidad soccer side in September, but Trinidad in particular said that they would not be prepared to undertake a tour at that time. This plan has not been dropped however.

When he was leaving New York, Simmons said the latest move on foot was to pick the strongest side from George Headley's touring cricket side to play against a Combined White American side. The Falcons would fill the positions Headley's cricketers could not provide. Probably our American domiciled West Indians would have to provide most of the players but J. K. Holt (inside-forward), Prior Jones (centre-half), Andy Ganteaume (inside-forward), and Ken Weekes (left-half) are all outstanding players to rank among the best of their two countries.

GILLY HERON

Simmons informed me that Gilly Heron, former St. George's College forward whom we featured recently in the "Gleaner" is regarded as the most outstanding soccer player in U. S. today. He plays as a professionally in Chicago but because he is coloured is not given the full pay of the star player—100 dollars per match. However he said every effort is being made to raise his pay from the current 25 dollars per match to the maximum.

Simmons is here for about three weeks to join his wife and mother, who preceded him here in June (accompanied by their two children, Beverly and Paul), and grandmother—Mrs. Louise Clayton of Montego Bay. Mrs. Lloyd Simmons is an American born of West Indian parents and paying her first visit to Jamaica, when they all meet later this week in Montego Bay there will be four generations present.