I want to clarify some issues related to the article “Was Queen’s Park Rangers The Greatest?” that was published in the Amandala August 9th, 2013 by my friend, Michael Finnegan. Before the team was taken over by Mr. Frank Sharp the name of the team was “Rovers,” which was founded, coached and trained by Dundee Lino D-Line because he was disliked after Queen’s Park Rangers lost the Interdistrict Competition to the Orange Walk selection in the late 1960’s. He was accused of selling out the game with the goalkeeper Ramball Rodriguez.
All Belize won the Interdistrict Competition for some years until 1975 when I started playing for All Orange Walk with Enrique Carballo, Gregzie Jones, Nolie Leiva, Cheesie Flowers, Stud Hendricks, Mark Anthony Chavarria, Matthew Williams, Romaldo Lambey, Matute, Daniel Cacho, Renan Briceño, Bunz Bennett, Harrier Laing. We were the first team to defeat All Belize convincingly at MCC Grounds. After the game we had to get police escort out of the park inside our bus. The Belize City people were stoning the bus with bottles and cursing us out because they were angry that they lost. Delhart Courtenay was the referee for that game. Dean Lindo took our team to Pickwick Club beside MCC Grounds for a treat that evening.
The teams were grouped into divisions and we went on to win the Northern Division by defeating Corozal and Belize. We played Queen’s Park Rangers twice for the championship in 1975 and 1976 and lost the championship game 2-1 on both occasions. Queen’s Park Rangers did not defeat the Orange Walk selection at anytime during the regular season. The only team that defeated the Orange Walk selection in the two years that I played during the regular season was Toledo, 2-1, at the last regular season game we played in Punta Gorda Town in 1976.
We lost two of those championship games the same way – goals scored by Dean Lewis because Chavarria in goal was too short. I told our coach at the time to put Lewis Thompson in the goal, but he always seemed to prefer Mark Anthony Chavarria for his own personal reasons.
I think that all the teams that played back then were great teams and the games could have gone either way, likewise the championship. Belize District has never had a team since then that I saw like the All Belize team with Michael Hyde, Mandingo Barnett, Gene Guild, Bunu Cal Robateau, Harry Cadle and others whom I cannot remember right now.
I was born and raised in Dangriga Town and I know and played football with and against most of the players that played with Queen’s Park Rangers. In fact Anthony “Garrincha” Adderly, Roy “Brazilian” Velasquez, Philip “Buck” Palacio, and myself played for Sacred Heart Primary School and we won two consecutive championships.
The Football Federation of Belize needs to start the Hall of Fame and document some of the great football history with the players who are still alive. Whenever I meet with the football players I played with and against, we still talk about those good old days. So I would not say that Queen’s Park Rangers was the greatest, but one of the greatest teams of all time.