Brixton collapse a real wake-up call

The MGBSFL is no longer the bastion of invincibility it once was. That’s the bottom line, and a kind of wake-up call to the people who really care about it.


And, for the first time I can remember, league chairman David Wolff has launched a rallying call for help, to ensure the cracks don’t get any bigger.

When a club with the rich traditions of Brixton Old Boys collapses, it’s more than a sign of the times. I remember some people saying the same thing when North West Neasden folded. Robert Silverman has invested a huge amount of his time, effort and, dare I say, personal resources to keep the club afloat. But like Mr Wolff, he realises he cannot carry on forever.

The call for younger and fresh blood to stand up and be counted has been made before, but sadly very few individuals have raised their hands.

If the MGBSFL launched as a start-up today, one would describe it as a healthy Sunday League in comparison to many others around the country. But we must remember it once boasted 65 teams, when people went above and beyond the call of duty.

Yes times have changed, and for some there are more important things in life than playing Sunday football, but the glass has always been half full as far as Mr Wolff is concerned.

It’s worth mentioning some teams still go out on a limb to fulfil fixtures, and it refreshing to hear Redbridge Jewish Care B boss Sam Rank praise opponents Los Blancos following Sunday’s 9-0 triumph.

Rank said: “Los Blancos had a lot of players missing due to the Fast of Teveth, yet they still managed to bring 13/14 players. This is a real credit to them. “If other teams showed the same commitment and attitude less games would be forfeited.”

Likewise Hertswood Vale. Crushed 4-0 in the Peter Morrison Trophy by a strong Maccabi London Lions under-21 side, joint-manager Jacob Emanuel remarked: “We put a lot of work into making sure this game went ahead, with a number of key players unable to make the later kick-off.

“We bent over backwards to accommodate this fixture for Lions, so hopefully we’ll be appreciated for that.”

On the flipside, L’Equipe manager Nick Stern cut a frustrated figure after North London Raiders C pulled out of their scheduled fixture on Saturday night. “We are extremely disappointed and, to be honest, shocked especially as Raiders B had no game,” said Stern. “It was very surprising from Raiders who clearly are not the same club that they used to be.

“In 10 years of playing L’Equipe have never folded a game, and we never will.”

* The decision to expand the World Cup to 48 teams is great news for Israel, one would like to think. Having only qualified for the finals of the major tournament once before, they will get the chance to put themselves on the map in footballing terms. And if they can’t qualify for that, they might as well give up altogether.

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