Exiles Oldies

2017 happens to the 50th anniversary of the Club’s foundation. Tribute must be made to the original group of youngsters who had the vision of organizing themselves to form initially, a sports club with football and waterpolo topping their list of favourite sports. Vanni Bruno, Gino Camilleri, Martin Frendo, Joe Sapienza, Philip Bisazza, Charles Grixti, Herbert Naudi, Michael Soler and John Gauci Maistre were the original pioneers of this young Club. Their priority was to affiliate Exiles Sports Club with both local bodies, the Malta Football Association and the Amateur Swimming Association with a view of competing in the respective competitions.

The 28th July 1967 was defined as a ‘red-letter’ day for Exiles Sports Club when the official inauguration of the pitch was made. It was a Friday, the sea was choppy as evidenced by a photo which appeared on the Sunday Times of Malta of the 30th July showing the Club’s first Honorary President Ronnie Demajo tossing the ball for the swim-up of the second match on the programme that afternoon.  The Committee members and other volunteers had decided on the date – probably based on the presence on the Island of the Honorary President, and irrespective of the weather conditions prevailing on the date chosen, the show had to go on. The two-match programme included Exiles against Fond Ghadir – group of youngsters having a similar ideal and based in a nearby beach half a kilometre away. The match saw Exiles win  2-0. In a curtain raiser, the second string of Exiles or the Reserves team as it was better known, lost 2-5 to the Under 16 Balluta (now San Giljan) team.

The group photo was taken at the former premises that the Club made use of, courtesy of the Civil Service Sports Club which ran the beach hut in Sliema below the De Redin watch tower. The venue was frequented by a few civil servants who spend their time playing chess and scrabble. The CSSC beach hut soon became a popular with youngsters flocking down to the premises and having a go at what was considered as a new sport for them.

The team was one of the first editions, around 1968. During the initial years the Club organized friendly matches mostly against the Under 16 teams of the affiliated Clubs in the area, Sliema, Neptunes and Balluta (now San Giljan). Use was made also of guest players who had experience with the other affiliated clubs.

Standing (left to right) Brian Micallef (goal-keeper who played for Sliema), Frederick Mifsud Bonnici, Bernard Ferrante (who had Fond Ghadir roots), Paul Dimech  and Joe Frendo (who both played for Neptunes) Jimmy Busuttil (a Balluta boy) and Martin Frendo.

Squatting Vanni Bruno, Charles Grixti, Frank ‘Karola’ Sammut, Karol Farrugia and Adrian Schinas




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