(AMANDALA Sports Ed. Note: Comprising two letters courtesy Teddy Gonzalez, “Leslie Sharp writes B.H. Football Association in 1971” appeared on pages 27-28 of Amandala for Friday, January 15, 2021, in connection with Teddy’s ongoing story, “Spurs Football Club and Belize Football History”.)
Sat. Jan. 16, 2021
Dear Amandala Sports Editor,
Again, I cannot help but commend you and the Amandala Press for your dedication in providing football players, sponsors, fans and supporters with this valuable piece of information.
Growing up in Dangriga I heard of Leslie Sharp, but did not get to see him until the late 1960’s, when he brought his San Joaquin team to play against Royal Athletic Club (R.A.C.) in Dangriga. During that time, I was playing for Sacred Heart School along with Anthony Adderly (Garrincha), Roy Velasquez-Coburn (Brazilian) and Philip Palacio (Buck).
Mr. Sharp encouraged most of the best football players from Dangriga and Pomona to leave Dangriga and go and play for him in Libertad. He was following in the footsteps of his father, Frank Sharp, who was the biggest sponsor of football in Stann Creek District and the most consistent in the country of Belize with his team, Queens Park Rangers.
This team was one of the best in the country of Belize and won more national championships than any other team I know.
Frank Sharp recruited players from all over the country of Belize. Once you became a member of the team, you automatically were given a job to work at the Pomona factory. Players were given time off to practice and play their games, and had other privileges that the average workers did not have.
Leslie Sharp was doing an analysis of football in the country of Belize, and was also recommending players to the president of the British Honduras Football Association, who in his opinion would make up a good national selection.
If I can remember correctly, around that time Orange Walk defeated Queens Park Rangers for that Inter-District Competition. That was when Daniel Lino “Dline” and Ramball Rodriguez were both accused of “selling out” the game to the Briceño brothers.
He was the sponsor of San Joaquin at the time and, as was expected in Belize, recommended some of the players from his team. This is an issue that we in Belize still have not resolved up to this day and must be dealt with.
From my experience playing football in the Orange Walk and Corozal Districts in the 1970’s, I can testify that Mr. Leslie Sharp contributed a lot to the development, sustenance and promotion of football in the Corozal District. He was inducted into the Belizean American Football Hall of Fame (BAFHF) here in the United States in 2017 for his contributions to our beloved support. Since his departure from football in Corozal, he built a foundation for Corozalenos to maintain. They became very competitive and started to win some national championships thereafter.
(AMANDALA Sports Ed. Note: Comprising two letters courtesy Teddy Gonzalez, “Leslie Sharp writes B.H. Football Association in 1971” appeared on pages 27-28 of Amandala for Friday, January 15, 2021, in connection with Teddy’s ongoing story, “Spurs Football Club and Belize Football History”. The opinions expressed in the letter above are those of Mr. Ramos and not necessarily of this newspaper.)