Fifty Years ago today, on Friday 2nd October in 1970, the first formal organised Junior Football Match in Gibraltar took place.
In the Early 1970s, the educational system in Gibraltar included football as part of the secondary educational curriculum. However the local community had no access to organised youth football leagues and competitions. In essence there was none. The age old problem of facilities was also very prevalent in the 1970s.
By 1970, the frontier had been closed for a year and it was then that six individuals came together with the idea of forming a Gibraltar Junior Football League setup, with structured competitive organised competitions for Gibraltar’s youngsters. The six pioneers were Charlie Cumbo, Pepe Apap, Fred Sash, Peter Martinez, Jimmy McGillvary and Gloria Parody.
Charlie Cumbo recalls how it was extremely difficult for them to get access to a pitch or a facility to play any matches on. Luckily one of the six founders, Fred Sash, was in the Navy, and managed get them to use to the old Naval Grounds (now the site of the Mid Town Development). However in order to do so, the Gibraltar Junior League had to come become part of the Dockyard Social Club. With this slight concession not seen as an issue on either side, the ‘Gibraltar Naval and Dockyard Social Club Junior Football League’ was formed.