I’m sure many of you remember that gag in the film Airplane about the book on famous Jewish sportsman being a light read. Not any more it isn’t. In fact, now is probably about the perfect time to update and extend the notional volume.
There is a certain wow factor about the level of achievement and sporting firsts dominating the back pages of your favourite Jewish newspaper this week, and I’d like to highlight three stories in particular.
It has been something of a Herculean effort from Tony Gold’s London Lions to win Spartan South Midlands League Division One title. They have come through an energy-sapping fixture pile-up that has seen a special group of players show great commitment, both on and off the pitch — leaving work early and travelling up and down the country to get to matches — and make huge sacrifices.
On the pitch, they have shown hunger, passion, commitment, mental and physical strength and recovery, not to mention the talent to win games, but the rewards are there for all to see.
Tomorrow, they will collect the trophy in front of their family and friends in what will be a proud moment for everyone connected to the club.
When Stanley Perlman asked Herschel Gutman to become Israel’s National Cricket Development Officer four years ago, he knew exactly what he was doing. He picked a real gem. Herschel knows his cricket and is a class act on and off the pitch. He made a big impression on English cricket during his time with Belmont & Edgware and his ICC European Coach of the Year award really is big news for the sport in Israel.
Hats off to the Manchester Jewish Soccer League for their special award from the FA. Numbers continue to fall in 11-a-side football across the land, but Brian Myer, Paul Rose and the rest of the league deserve a huge pat on the back for their starring role in helping to give Jewish football the recognition it deserves. The 10-team league also goes to show that size isn’t everything.
* Referee Ken Goldman praised players from both Waldaf Town and Scrabble FC after giving the teams perfect marks for sportsmanship in Sunday’s Maccabi Masters League. Goldman said: "Incredibly, I only gave one foul in the first half. That is a record for me. Excellent sportsmanship all round."
* Faithfold A need just a point against defending champions Hendon to win the JC MSFL title this weekend. The Superhoops have three games remaining, but manager Zuriel Solomon is determined to win it at the first attempt. They last won the title in 2005 and there’s every chance they will be toasting double delight on Sunday.