Sports — 01 November 2017
Hogan’s football story – Parts 6 & 7

An Amandala interview with Charles Hogan, visiting from Los Angeles, California, on Monday, October 2, 2017, on 3304 Partridge Street.

(Hogan disappears from the Belize football scene; and, years later, returns to the spotlight in L.A.)

BELIZE CITY, Mon. Oct. 30, 2017–Amandala (A): So… after that, now… you are a national hero in your own way… with the Methodist primary school champions … and some of those players later on became senior players…. What was your route?… What did you do after that?

Part 6
Hogan (H): Well… I didn’t continue my football career… because of other interests that came up…

A: You didn’t go on to high school…?

H: No, I didn’t go on to high school… I went to work at Belmopan… then I joined the Belize Police Force…

A: Belmopan… you mean the New Site? (Belmopan was officially opened in 1970)..

H: Yea, the New Site… at an early age, I went to work with my father… because that’s all… if you couldn’t go to high school… then the only next thing was to find work…

A: Construction work?

H: Construction, yaa… at an early age… and that’s when I started doing my little modelling and…

A: And then, in Belmopan, you didn’t have much chance to play football at that time, no?… in that New Site situation…

H: Yea… the working… the field situation… it was just work, work… if you wanted to play, it was on your own time… your own little recreation… but nothing organized..

A: So, then, we never got to see Hogan in a (senior) competition..

H: So, the people in Belize City didn’t know anything about me after that… because I didn’t play senior … A couple of the guys who I played against, they went to senior, while I was in the States…

A: Okay, wait! But you were in Belmopan for a couple years you said, then you… what year did you join Police?
H: In the early seventies… 1970.. and in ’73 I went to the States…

A: So you joined Police in 1970… but remember, in 1970 we had a competition… and around that time we had a Sergeant Duncan who enlisted a Police team in the City competition… but you were not in the City… you were stationed somewhere else…?

H: Alright… No.. I did not play with the Police team because of … you know, they… the Police didn’t give any time off to practice or whatever…

A: It was just a recreation thing with them, no?

H: Yaa… a recreation thing… just who was available…

A: Yaa, they never ranked anywhere in the competition…

H: So it was then that P.S.F… Police Special Force Invaders came about…

A: Now, they were impressive when they first came out…

H: Yaa, with Cas and…

A: Norman Castillo.?.

H: Norman Castillo… and Charlie Good… and “Bembe”…

A: And… the Martinez…

H: Fred Martinez…

A: Fred Martinez’ brother, Mike…

H: Lacio…

A: Yaa, Lacio, Mike Martinez…

H: Yea, they were the Invaders…

A: But you didn’t play with them…

H: No, because I was in the Regular Force… they were in Special Force… they gave time off for those guys to train… I was just doing my duty…

A: So, after your super-stardom in primary school football, you never did get a chance to show yourself in the City…

H: Yaa, I had a hiatus… I had a rest… and I never showed in the City (senior competition)..

A: So, ’73 you left…

H: Yes… And then around ’74… ‘74 is when I got started back in the sport…

A: Okay, now, in the States… you were in what part of the States?

H: I was in Los Angeles…

A: You’ve been there all this time, or you moved around?

H: No, Los Angeles.

A: So, you’ve been there in ’73… you got a feel of things… and by ’74 you started to get the urge to get back…

H: I started to get the urge… the fever started coming back to me, that I belong in football…

A: Alright… alright, the new chapter of Hogan!… (laughs)

H: New chapter emerges!!… (laughs)

Part 7…
A: In L.A… Now, you see the problem?… Because back here in Belize City, we know nothing about any Hogan… U da no nobody ya (You are no star with us back here) (laughs)… We don’t know about you… We only know about that primary school game now (because you told us)… But you went and did things up north, and that cause us to now find out the other things that you’ve done…

H: Yes…

A: So… in L.A… tell us…

H: Discipline from the Police Force helped me to emerge as a leader… because there was something telling me that I was a leader… I played with my first coach, which was Cador… I think he is here (in Belize) right now..

A: Yaa, Cador is here… Anton Thurton..

H: Yaa, Cador… with Crusaders… he started polishing me up with some of the stuff that he knows…

A: Okay, with Crusaders… that would be your first team in L.A…. with Cador

H: And then I left Cador’s team, and I went to Atlas… then I caught the first All Star team… that is when I start…

A: Atlas was who? Who was in charge of that?

H: Atlas was an offset of Belize players who couldn’t play with Cador… Cador had a packed team of all (formerly) Belize City based players… so they had too many players… so, Atlas was formed from… I would say, all the reject players who couldn’t catch Cador’s team…

A: Cador’s was THE team then…

H: Yea, Cador had all the guys… all the guys from the City went to Cador… So, now… a team from Chicago was coming to L.A… first time… was coming to play a selection of all Belize stars… so we had to pick the best out of L.A.

A: A Chicago team of Belize players was coming?

H: Of Belize players was coming… the best… Livingston Bullets…

A: You were with Atlas at this time… Who was coaching Atlas?

H: Russell “Cheezy” Hulse was the…

A: So he was in charge of the…

H: Yea, he was given the assignment to select some of L.A. best to tackle Chicago that was coming… because Chicago was kind of seasoned already… with some of the talent that had left Belize that went direct to Chicago…. I mean, I can call some of the names.. some of the enthusiasts might know..

A: Names like?

H: Okay, like the great “Pine” (Gilbert) Hernandez..

A: So, he was in Chicago then…

H: He was, yea, the captain… then they had the Jenkins brothers from Landivar..

A: Adolph (Jenkins) and…

H: And then they brought a guy from college that was… he was awesome, mein… and then they had “Palmer”…

A: The great (Wilfred) “Palmer” Davis?

H: Palmer Davis… you had Pomo (Calbert Usher)… I think you had one who is right here… they call him “Horsey” (Anthony) Cooper… so those were not any lightweights… Chicago was bringing the best that they could have brought…

A: So, how did Cheezy come to be the person to make this selection?.. he was coaching Atlas, you said?

H: Yes, Cheezy was selected by Phil Smart … because they had contacted Phil Smart… Dell and the Sensations…

A: And what did Phil Smart have to do with this…?

H: Well, somebody has to be the recipient … or somebody has to be the facilitator when you come… somebody has to accept you… when you come in to pay your hotel bill… to chaperone… or to make sure that you get from point A to point B… so they had to call somebody with stability… or somebody who has money…

A: You mean like to sponsor the whole…

H: Like, to sponsor the whole thing, yea… because you know when you finish playing…you can get some money to go back… and so that was how that was set…

A: So he said that he wanted Cheezy to take care of business … because he trusted Cheezy’s skill…. At that time Cheezy was playing with this Israeli team… I think…

H: Okay… Cheezy Hulse was playing for Macabee… he was selected…

A: That was a top level…

H: A top level organization in the States…. they were considered like pro or semi-pro at that time… So, Cheezy and Steve Flowers made that team… two Belizeans made it… and you had to be good, mein… and they trained hard… extraordinary…

A: So, they were not just party boys… this was serious business…

H: So, the responsibility was left in Russell Hulse’s hand to pick the first fifteen guys from California because…

A: From all California… from Crusaders…and Atlas… and whoever else they could find..

H: Everybody was coming to the field… that’s why it was ‘Griga.. Dangriga… Crusaders…

A: Tryout… they were on tryout to catch the team…

H: Yaa… it was a big tryout thing…

A: And did you manage to catch that team?.. How did you…

H: So… you know, when people say they didn’t hear about me… that’s when I emerged…

A: Ahaahn?

H: Yes, that’s when the first… the first person they selected was me…

A: (laughs) Hogan!… that’s a lot of stats… Cheezy picked Hogan to start building his team…! So dis da no just so-so so (So, this was no trivial matter.)… The man saw something in you that he knew…

H: Yes… it was defence… two-touch… three-touch the most… and you had to be accurate with your passing… and with both feet… and so my talent was… I was good with both feet… left and right I was coming the same way… hard..

A: Okay, so the man built his team around you…

H: The man built his middle… well, I wouldn’t say around me… but he wanted me… and everybody else wanted me on the team… because, besides me there was a guy from Honduras… and then the late Cas… Norman Castillo… so you know I was with big… I was in big company…

A: Yes… and you handled yourself… So, what went on with that game?

H: Okay… well, the selection he picked… we battled with Chicago to the end, mein… and Cas scored the only goal… so we beat them the Saturday…. So it was like on a three-day weekend…

A: This game was in L.A.?

H: Yaa, it was in L.A. This game happened at 144 and Normany… they call that Sierra High School… a pretty stadium at the time… So, Chicago reinforced… They had guys flying in the night to play us… because there were two games…

A: Saturday and Sunday?

H: Saturday and Sunday, back to back… So… the second game again, mein… same thing.. 1-zip again…

A: Cho!

H: We beat them back-to-back, 1-zip… Every time in the middle, I couldn’t even take a break, mein… because I was up and down… back and forth… taking out everybody who came to the middle… I was the defensive middle…

A: Okay… respect… because that was my position too… very important…

H: So, that’s why Cheezy was yelling for me every time I wanted to take a break… he said “Mein, I need you on the field…. don’t… just two minutes and come right back”… because at that time you could go in and out, you know…

A: Okay… because it was a friendly, no?

H: Yaa, it was ninety minutes one day and ninety minutes the next day… And so, that was the beginning of me…

A: You “made your bones” (in senior football)…

(to be continued in the next issue of the Amandala)

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