Bluebells United relives glory days

On Sunday, 9 July, the Lenasia Stadium was a buzz of excitement. Bluebells United made their debut at the stadium 50 years ago. The Johannesburg City Council finally relented, and permission was granted for the Club to use the Lenasia Stadium as a home ground. This paved the way for other clubs like Swaraj and Dynamos to join the ranks of the Federation Professional League.  The FPL were strong proponents of non-racial sport.

The 50th Anniversary Commemoration began with the Bluebells United junior teams in action. The young boys and girls from Under 7 to Under 15 played against, Lenasia Wolves, MRV United, Lawley Bayern and Amavinkivoko FC. They braved the cold front to display their skills and natural flair. Football was the winner on the day. These young aspirant footballers carry the dream of one day representing the country at the world cup.

This was followed by the formal programme, directed by Gary Moonsammy and Haroon Mohamed. The Chairperson of the Bluebells United Legacy Project, Mr Alan Moonsammy, welcomed all present. The keynote address was delivered by renown Human Rights Lawyer and now Constitutional Court Judge, Mr Jody Kollopen. He articulated why football is known as the Beautiful Game. Jody fondly recalled watching Bluebells play, He emphasized that the club has a rich history and outlined why the Bluebells United story must be told.

Ralph Hendricks and Siraj Abbas, true legends of the game, were given the task of presenting commemorative medals to the team of 1973. The recipients included local based players, Alan Moonsammy, Terry Jeevanantham, Prega Thandrind, Rattin Padayachee and Goona Padayatchi. The Club President Vincent Naidoo and the Secretary of the Supporters club Ms Linda Palani were also acknowledged Special awards were given to Dr Selma Browde, The Don Mattera Foundation, the Ameen Akhalwaya Family and veteran journalists Len Khumalo and Zaf Mayet. The Lenasia Football Association, the Lenasia School Sport Association, the SA Fed Legends, the History of Non-Racial Sport Project, the Remembering SACOS Committee and the Johannesburg City Council were also recognized for their role in the development of the game and sports at larg

Kaniga Naidoo rendered Vande Mataram, as a tribute to the fanatical Bells supporters. Gavin Jackson, speaking on behalf of the Organizing Team, thanked all those that had taken the time to join the commemoration. Gavin also paid a special tribute to all those sponsors whose kind contributions ensured the success of the event.

In attendance were some of the other legends that played at the stadium. Theses included, Swaraj’s Baboo Khalichuran, Fish Abrahams, Paradise Legodi and Kola Padayatchi. Azhar Saloojee and Boebie Solomans of Dynamos. Sundowns Vincent Julius, Bhatoo Bhana and Don Lucas, Bosmont Chelsea’s Isaac de Jong, Haroun Lachporia and Jonathan Adams and Hanif Loonat and Freddy Francis of Benoni Manchester, Basil Steenkamp, Bernard Adams and Rajen Moodley of Laudium Birds.

The grand finale was a celebrity match between the Bluebells and Gauteng legends. Gora Ebrahim, Danny Aghullus, Sugar Patel and Razien Ebrahim showed touches of brilliance. Bluebells took the lead from a Gavin Carelse strike. Solly Mangera levelled matters for the Gauteng team. Tyrone Vassen then slotted the winner for Bluebells Vets much to the disappointment of the GP legends manager, Nielan Annamalay,

Supersport with Aslam Khota, were in attendance to capture the highlights of the day. We anxiously await their production.

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