Montana memories

By Danny Caro, February 1, 2012
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Tributes have been flooding in from players and managers past and present following the demise of Montana Boca United.

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"It is with great sadness that I am writing to all of you. It has been decided that last Sundays game against Neasden was Montana Boca United's last game. The club has now been folded. It has been a very difficult decision to make, and feel it is the right decision. This has been on my mind the whole of this season and even last season.

"I would like to thank all of you for your time, effort and friendship this year and the past 16 years.

"I think we all can walk away from Montana with some fantastic memories. A few that come to my mind are the two trips to Manchester and the promotion season into the Premier Division.

"When I started the club the aim was to play in every division and this is something we achieved together, with much fun.

"Unfortunately, due to age and other commitments for players, it has been very hard over the past 18 months.

"Once again, thank you to all of you for your efforts over the years and I hope you all have some good memories." Raymond Harrod (chairman)

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"It's with a heavy heart that I write to you with Montana folding.I joined aged 18 and things come to an end at the ripe old age of 33! Upon folding it is a time to reflect upon what an amazing journey it has been.

"For 15 years, against all the odds, we did what vary few teams as small as this club did, we went the whole way from the bottom to the Premier division, and we did it in style.

"Do not underestimate what an amazing achievement this was, this was through 6 divisions. It is very hard to do, in addition its even harder to be up at the top 2 divisions for as long as we did. Look at the clubs in the division, bar the Faithold’s, Lions and NWN not many clubs have survived. Not only did we survive but we won leagues, got promoted and beat some of the best.

"Montana was built on friendship and togetherness off the pitch. On it for so long we showed a togetherness than very few teams could show. We never gave up, we worked so hard for each other, we played some great football, we annoyed a lot of people off and we did it with smiles on our faces. In addition we did it as a group of mates.

"My personal highlights were winning the 4th division at a canter, winning promotion to the Prem, losing our first six games in the Prem but coming back som so strong only to go down by a point. That epitomised what the club is all about.

"The memories I have, and many of you share are great memories which many people playing Sunday morning football never got to experience.

"People hated playing us and rightly so. There were times nobody wanted us to succeed and we did. So hated were we at one stage when we went to the awards night no one on the awards table got up to shake our hands.... Good times.

"To Ray, thank you for everything you have given on and off the pitch. Your hard work, dedication, commitment has been incredible. From a personal point of you, I have loved playing for this club, with you.

"It has been an honor to be the longest-serving and most capped player, and to skipper you for so long and play with so many decent people.

"I have so many amazing memories and so many good times. They will stay with me forever. Everyone should have pride in what we achieved.

"We are going to arrange a massive party to celebrate Montana, I am really looking forward to it." Adam Osper (captain)

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"Very disappointing it has ended this way, but as someone who has struggled to commit of late I couldn't have expected anything else.

"It has been a pleasure playing with you all over the years and if I can muster energy to see out the twilight of my career I might see you guys on the pitch somewhere else (doubtful though!).

"Thanks to Ray, Opser, Nick, Zeidy and others for organising over the years. " Simon Hecker (player)

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"Very sad news but inevitable. Well done Ray for having the energy and drive to keep things going for so long. Long live Montana." Robin Grainger (player)

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"Montana was a fantastic team to play for. We always played and fought as a team and never gave up easily.

"Ray, Zied, Nick and Adam, thank you for all the dedication and hard work arranging everything behind the scenes over the years, just so we were able to play on a Sunday morning.

"My Sunday mornings simply aren't the same anymore without Osper's pre-match team talks!

"Personal highlight for me was getting promoted to the Prem." Danny Myers (player)

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"I was informed last night by Gabriel John at Power League that Montana had folded. I remember when I was 11 my old man, Raymond and Mark were in my conservatory discussing the name of the club. My mum came in and said how about Montana as these are my favourite cigarettes.

"The club was in my blood from the start and use to go and watch the team play every week. I was the mouthy mascot and, well nothing has really changed!

"I notably recall watching the title winning game in Division Four at Hackney Marshes and the coach journey home. You could probably say Montana was the crazy gang of North London in the early days.

"To have played for both A and B teams was a great pleasure and wish to thank my dad, Raymond and all the boys for all the great memories over the last 16 years.

"It's a sad day for the league and everyone that has been involved with the club." Daniel Major (ex-player and mascot)

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"It was a pleasure playing with you over the years and I hope that with the end of Montana, it does not signify the end to a number of you being involved in Sunday League football. I would personally like to thank Ray and Ziedy for their dedication over the years. Most memorable moment has to be Ziedy dislocating his shoulder supporting us in Manchester. What passion!" Simon Peterman (former Montana player)

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"It was great fun while it lasted.
Top moments: - Dan Cohen scoring a last-minute header at Brook Farm to clinch promotion to Division One.
- Bringing it to Faithfold A in the cup at Hackney Marshes - 22 man brawl, ref from another game stopped his game to come and help sort it out, taking them all the way in extra time.
- Kicking Osper up in the air after he scored a fluke against NL Raiders.
- Goodmaker trying to get us sponsorship at Secrets!
- Manchester." James Sandler (former Montana player)

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"I'm so sorry to hear about Montana. A great club I was proud to manage. Made some great friends with some of the players. What a shame." Rob Shooman (former manager)

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"They have been regular users of the The Hive and we wish Raymond Harrod good luck for the future.” Stuart Lustigman (chairman of the Maccabi Masters League."

Last updated: 6:11pm, February 7 2012