'Playing Football Is Only Object Of Tour'

Date Published: 
Jamaica Gleaner


Gleaner Special Service

LONDON, February 23:

THE BRITISH soccer team to tour the West Indies, is going on a "goodwill visit." A Football Association official told me today that the tour which begins on May 9 with teo matches in Bern, is a return visit for that made two years ago by the Trinidad footballers.

"Playing football is the one object of the trip", said the official. "We are not asking any cash guarantees. The party of 18 chosen today is a strong one. Nine of them have gained representative honours before: three, centre forward Bedford Jezzard, inside forward Stan Pearson, and centre half Sid Owen, have played for England."

Jezzard, a bustling centre forward, is leading Fulham in their bid for promotion to the First Division. He will cause opposing centre halves plenty of headaches. So will the wily scheming of Pearson. Pearson can shoot too. It was his 35 yard snap shot at Wembley in 1948 which helped to win the Cup for Manchester United. He has since moved on to Bury.

Another member of the party in the news for his shooting is left winger Alan Broadbent. Alan plays for Notts county. On Saturday he was the toast of the town when his full-blooded volley crashed into the Chelsea goal to knock the First Division side out of the Cup.

There is plenty more power among the tourists' forwards.

Centre forward or inside left Geoff Bradford from Bristol Rovers is a hat trick specialist. Last season he broke his leg, but has come back and scored 22 goals so far, this season.

Then there is Vic Groves who hails from a famous English soccer family, and as outside right for Leyton Orient looks like proving the best of them all. Fast, tricky player Groves should revel in the West Indies' hard pitches. The West Indies forwards won't have an easy time either.

Among the half backs are Arsenal's Pete Goring and Jim Kelly, recently transferred from Watford to Blackpool for £15,000 sterling, and full cap Sid Owen. Owen is one of the strong men in Luton's great promotion bid this season.

Behind them are full backs like Jim Langley, one of the most promising defenders in England. Jim plays for Brighton, but if many managers had their way he would be in a First Division side. But Brighton won't part with him.

Two international goalkeepers make up the party. They are Ted Bennett, who plays for Watford, and Harry Sharratt, a Bishop Auckland player who is often in the Blackpool side.

Both have played for England as amateurs.