Gibraltar vs Portugal at Middle Road
After the dreadful weather overnight and through Friday, Sunday 21st. of June saw the re-arranged European Championship tie between Gibraltar and Portugal take place at the Club.
Anyone who viewed the pitch on Friday would have had a job convincing themselves that any play would be possible even by Sunday. A decent spell of weather through Saturday and into Sunday, combined with the dedicated efforts of Club President and Groundsman Leslie 'Tonto' Thompson, was enough to ensure that the pitch had recovered remarkably well and that play was possible on schedule. Everyone on the day was quick to recognise and pay tribute to Tonto's hard work throughout one of the worst summers in memory which ensured the match could take place. The overall organisation of the fixture was also first-rate, the day running without a hitch from start to finish, drawing favourable comment from officials and players alike. Roger Bell, as the Match Liaison official for the Club, and the I.C.U.-appointed Match Manager, Gordon Black, are both to be commended and thanked for their efforts in ensuring such a successful outcome. We were delighted to welcome the Town Mayor, Alderman Eric Ferguson, who was accompanied by Deputy Town Clerk, Alan Phair, and would express our thanks that our 'First Citizen' took the time to support the Club in our efforts. After the players had eaten, a formal lunch was provided for Club and visiting officials. Our own Club caterer, Fiona, catered both lunches and was warmly thanked for providing her usual high standard of cuisine by players and officials alike. At the formal lunch, Alderman Ferguson was kind enough to present ties and a beautiful town plaque to the management of both teams, who also received Club plaques and ties from Club President Leslie Thompson. Gordon Black kindly presented the Club with commemorative plaques to recognise our efforts in hosting the event and these were gratefully received by the Club President. The crowd was fairly sparse for the start of the match but spectators arrived at a steady pace throughout the day and there was a healthy crowd present to witness the Portugal win by the close of play. We would thank all those who came up to watch the match and hope that some of the new faces in attendance will not be strangers to the Club in the future. Finally, the Club would like to thank all of the other dedicated people not mentioned individually for their valued contribution to the day's success.