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The seeds of soccer success in Fortune


The town of Fortune can trace its roots in soccer way back to 1902 when the Grand Bank Football Club walked the three miles to the neighbouring community to play.

Allan Stoodley Photography
In 1975, Fortune won its first of three straight provincial second division championships. The host squad defeated Springdale in a three-game series, winning the first and third games by scores of 2-1 and 2-0. Springdale shutout Fortune 2-0 in the second match. Members of the Fortune team were (front, l-r) Ed Hillier, Fred Caines, George Rose, Lloyd Kelland, Charlie Pearce, Gabriel Parsons, (back, l-r) Phil Caines, Clyde Hillier, Murdock Hiscock, Maurice Pittman, John Martin, Bill Forsey, Fred Rose, Bill Hillier, Harvey Tulk and Pat Parsons. The team was coached by George ‘Bow’ Collier.

The result of that first recorded game was a 3-1 victory for Fortune.

In the ensuing decades, up to the 1940s, photos and information are available documenting exhibition games involving the different towns on the Burin Peninsula, including St. Lawrence, Lawn, Burin, Marystown, Garnish and Lamaline.

Then in 1906, the first international soccer match was played when the French team from St. Pierre visited Grand Bank.  

Soccer competition on a provincial level was organized when the St. John’s Football League hosted representatives from Corner Brook and the Burin Peninsula in 1950.

The result was the formation of the Newfoundland Amateur Football Association (NAFA). The first All-Newfoundland championship was played that year in the capital city and was won by Holy Cross. The following year the St. Lawrence Laurentians captured their first of what would prove to be many pieces of provincial silverware.

Right from the get-go in the early 1950s, Fortune fielded a soccer team in the Burin Peninsula Football League, but it wasn’t until 1967 that they finally got at a shot at winning provincial soccer honors. That year Fortune had a well-balanced junior team that went on a regular season ten-game unbeaten streak and then defeated St. Lawrence in the finals to claim the town’s first ever Burin Peninsula championship.

As a result, the team advanced to the provincial junior championship series, hosting the defending provincial champs, the Guards, from St. John’s.

With inside-right Ron Price and centre-half Bill Forsey leading the way, Fortune won the hard-fought first game by a 2-0 score.

In the second game, Fortune stepped up the pace and ran rings around their opponents with a hard working kick-and-run style of football. Bud Boomer notched two goals and Fred Caines, with a hard shot that whistled into the net from 25-yards out, added another in a 3-0 shutout victory, securing Fortune’s first-ever provincial championship.

Fortune’s 19-year-old captain Ron Price was named most valuable player for the series with teammate and goalie George Rose also being recognized. Rose recorded 350 minutes of shutout soccer, which included three playoff games against St. Lawrence and two against the Guards.

Other members of Fortune’s 1967 junior team were Roy Caines, Lloyd Kelland, Lloyd Strickland, Gerald King, Calvin Tulk, Lloyd Barnes, George Monster, Bud Boomer, Don Monster, Clyde Monster, Les Walters, Carl Bungay and coach Guy Clouter.

In the 1970s, Fortune went on to win three provincial B titles, and from 1986-90, the town’s teams captured five masters championships. In 1995, Fortune won the provincial senior crown. The following season, the local soccer association folded due to a shortage of players.

In a future column we will look at some of Fortune’s top players over the years, including George ‘Bow’ Collier, who was named provincial Player of the Decade for the 1960s.

 

Allan Stoodley of Grand Bank can be reached at amstoodley@hotmail.com.

He welcomes any comments on this

or any other article he has written.

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