Endorsing the "Soccer Capital "

For the last few years, the Newfoundland and Labrador Soccer Association and Sport Newfoundland and Labrador have addressed the idea of constructing a Newfoundland and Labrador Soccer Hall of Fame and Museum. If one?s history and dedication to soccer is a determining factor of where this building is to be constructed, the town of St. Lawrence should be a shoo-in for this new facility. In this article, I will endorse the St. Lawrence application by giving you an insight into the following :

*** the history of soccer in St. Lawrence.

*** display St. Lawrence?s organisational achievements of the game.

*** record and honour St. Lawrence Soccer Heritage

1904 - 1950

Years ago when people first settled in St. Lawrence, many of them of Irish descent, they brought with them this great game called football. The first recorded game was played in 1904 on Patty's Farm in Little St. Lawrence. This was between St. Lawrence and St. John's and the Laurentians won that game by a score of 1-0 . A few of the St. Lawrence players who participated in that game were Stance Murray, Joseph Walsh and Ned Lundrigan, with Lundrigan scoring the lone goal. The prize for winning this game was $5.00 and the game ball was the trophy. From 1904 to 1922, football games were played against crews from ships that came into the harbour. In 1922, a game was organized by Father Thorne, the local parish priest at the time, played between Lawn and St. Lawrence. From 1922 to 1950, games were played against teams from Lawn, Grand Bank, Fortune, Burin and St Pierre.

First provincial title

In 1950,competition began for an All Newfoundland Championship. The St. Lawrence soccer team won in 1951.The Laurentians of 1951 were comprised of: Gus Etchegary, Tom Turpin, Jack Lundrigan, Albert Kettle, Herb Slaney, Bill Slaney, Gordon Turpin, Theo Etchegary, Alonzo Walsh, Joe Clarke, Cyril Rennie, Bob Kelly, Gus Tarrant, Rennie Slaney, Jack Fitzpatrick, Jack Walsh and Alfred Giovannini.

Laurentians Achievements

Since winning the first championship, St. Lawrence soccer teams have been a powerhouse of soccer, both at the Burin Peninsula and at the provincial level. The St. Lawrence Laurentians have won a total of 25 Burin Peninsula Championships , 23 All Newfoundland Championships, 2 Premier's Cups, 5 Atlantic Canada Championships, 1 Eastern Canadian Championship,19 Provincial Challenge Cup Titles and 4 National Challenge Cup Medals ( 3 silver and one bronze). On an individual note, maybe the greatest personal feat for any provincial soccer player came in 1972 when the Laurentians Wils Molloy was selected as a member of Canada?s Olympic Team. Molloy, for his achievements as a Laurentian, was ranked the top player in the sport of Newfoundland soccer during a poll done in 1994.

Laurentians Honoured

In 1977, when St .Lawrence hosted the National Senior Men?s Championship, it was Eric King, executive director of the Canadian Soccer Association who gave the town of St. Lawrence the title "Soccer Capital of Canada". Mr. King alluded to the St. Lawrence Soccer Associations organizational skills as well as their teams ability to compete at a national level. The Canadian Soccer Association was shocked at how a community of 2500 residents could play host to such a national event. After St Lawrence won 6 Provincial Challenge Cup Championships in the 1970?s, the Laurentians were named ?The Team of the Decade?. The 1999 National Bronze Medal Laurentians were awarded ?Team of the Year? for their accomplishments during the 1990?s. Just recently, the 2002 National Silver Medallists were honoured as Newfoundland and Labrador?s Soccer Association and Sport Newfoundland and Labrador?s ?Team of the Year?. The Laurentians of 2003 are presently competing for a ninth consecutive Provincial Challenge Cup Title. This achievement is not only a provincial record, but it is also a national record.

Hall of Fame - Inductees

In 1977, the St. Lawrence Soccer Association started recognizing and honouring their star players and builders. The Laurentians Club are the only soccer organization in the province who have set up their own Hall of Fame. The following Laurentians have been inducted into the St. Lawrence Soccer Hall of Fame:

1977: Gus Etchegary, Arulia Turpin, David Turpin, Robert Slaney, David Molloy,

Robert Kelly 1978: Louis Kelly, Rennie Slaney, Richard Loder, Jack Lundrigan, Harry Tarrant, Patrick Tarrant. 1979 : Fr. John Murray, Theo Etchegary, Donnette Slaney, Howard Farrell, Peter Haley, Leo Loder, Clement Slaney 1980: James Pike, Jack Walsh, Thomas Turpin, Jack Fitzpartick, William Slaney, Herbert Slaney, Aloysius Molloy, Albert Kettle, Fred Walsh. 1982:Reg Farrell, Norm Kelly, Victor Edwards, Alonzo Walsh, Cyril Quirke, Loyola Slaney.1983: Bob Slaney 1984: Howard Lake 1985: Don Turpin 1986: Frank Tobin 1987: Peter Quirke, Gordon Turpin, Cecil Shea 1988: Brendan Slaney, Leo J Slaney, Sam Tobin 1989 : Len Slaney, Wils Molloy 1990: Leo Murray, Aubrey Farrell, Mike Quirke, Arch Slaney, Mike Handrigan, Adrian Slaney 1991: James Cusick, John Slaney, Fabian Slaney, Clayton Pike, Keith Walsh, Jerry Kelly, Ron Slaney, Patrick Slaney, Gus Clarke 1992: Charlie Banfield, Joe Lundrigan, Norman Pike, Alexander Tarrant, Robert Quirke, Kevin Slaney, Joe Haskell, Attila Balint, Joe Quirke, Gus Tarrant, Hugh Tarrant, Clyde Pike, Ron Kelly, Alfred Goivannini, Reverend Cyrus Pittman, Gerald Fitzpatrick, Paddy Fitzpatrick 1993: Carl Ferrie, Jerome Slaney, Sylvester Slaney

1994: Bernie Murray, Warren Pike, Ray Slaney 1995: Ben Edwards, T. J Slaney, Jack Simms 1996: Keith Farrell, Greg Quirke, Junior Edwards 1997: Robert Edwards, James Loder, Kevin Lundrigan, Father Augustine Thorne 1998: Junior Doyle, Yvonne Edwards, Max Ketttle, Robert Fitzpartick, Leo Turpin 1999: Gerard Quirke, Myra Kelly, Ray Farrell 2000: Ren Edwards, Frank Pitman, Luanne Turpin, Mike Reddy 2001: Wall Of Fame Inductees: Fabian Alwyard, Bud Giovannini 2001: Gord Dunphy, Eugene Banifield, Winnifred Tarrant 2002: Al Slaney, Rudy Slaney, Tom Tarrant, Alvin Beck, Ray Molloy, Frank Haskell, Joe Turpin 2003: Aubrey Pike

All in favour !!!

After having spoken with various provincial government officials from all stripes and colours, I have been given full support and endorsements that St. Lawrence should be the unanimous choice for the erection for this new Provincial Soccer Hall of Fame and Museum. The St. Lawrence Municipal Council, St. Lawrence Heritage Society, and the St. Lawrence Soccer Association fully supports this bid being put forward. Now, it?s time for the Newfoundland and Labrador Soccer Association, Sport Newfoundland and Labrador, and the Newfoundland and Labrador Soccer Association Hall of Fame Committee to get their wheels in motion and get this project moving.