Sports — 18 July 2014
Football flashback

“Football flashback” corrections – Brodies, not BEC; “Paps” Hamilton, not Frankie Clarke; MCC, not BEC field

Wow! Guilty on all 3 counts. Our apologies; but our main interest was in trying to stir up the memories from old timers.

We didn’t receive a written note along with the old picture we featured in the issue for this past Sunday, July 12, in an article titled “Football Flashback – 3 BEC players circa 1962-63.”

The X was the first to draw my attention to the error in the name of Frankie Clarke instead of “Paps” Hamilton for the player in the center of the picture.

As the title indicated, we were not sure of some of the details. It turns out that our presumption was wrong on three counts. The team’s name was not “BEC,” but “Brodies” that the players then represented. When I caught up with “Buddha” (Malcolm Hemmans) at Cinderella Plaza yesterday, he was quite certain that it was Brodies. “I was just out of primary school at St. Joseph, when they recruited me to play in senior football with Brodies,” said Buddha. “After a while, when some of their star players had gone to the States, BEC offered some of us jobs, and so we went over to BEC.”

And the man in the middle, though he bore a close resemblance to my memory of Errol Clarke, who I played with on Amateur Sporting Club in 1970-71, and who perished in that infamous truck fire disaster in 1971 that claimed the lives of four Belizean athletes (Gilroy Buller, Errol Clarke, Kyrle Thurton and Charles “Bouki” Leslie) on the Western Highway, was actually not Errol’s brother. Figuring he must be Errol’s brother, I had erroneously assigned him the name of another top player of his time, Frankie Clarke; but it is now confirmed that the man in the middle was actually another big star of the day, Lionel “Paps” Hamilton. Buddha was again categorical; he said Paps played “over the ball” – center forward, and was the top “goal getter” for Brodies.

Buddha was not so sure about the picture location.

However, earlier this afternoon, Bert Cattouse dropped by Amandala (in my absence) and informed a colleague that we were not only wrong on those two counts – Brodies instead of BEC, and Paps Hamilton instead of Frankie Clarke, but the picture was taken at the MCC, not the BEC field. It was “after the 1961 hurricane” (Hattie), according to Bert; but he didn’t specify how long after. It was our belief that, since the 1961-62 regular season was aborted (because of Hurricane Hattie), and only a “knockout” competition was held in early ‘62, that the picture was probably taken in early 1962. Bert confirmed by phone this evening that he, indeed, believed the picture was taken in 1962, as Brodies went on to win the 1962-63 season.

Forgive us, Paps; forgive us Frankie; and forgive us, fans. Paps Hamilton and Frankie Clarke were among Belize’s best at the time. Both their names appear in the recent Michael Finnegan article in Amandala of Sunday, July 13, 2014, titled “The historic 1960’s and football,” where their names are listed along with other members of the 1963 “All Belize” team that travelled to Jamaica.

We will continue to venture with old sports pictures when they become available, but with increased caution where all names and dates are not provided. In the absence of much in the way of documented records, we need to spur the discussion so that those of you who know can share your knowledge with our readers and clear up the details for posterity.

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