Brick Lane Community Fun-day and Football Re-Union from the 80’s
On Sat 20th August 2016 Osmani Trust’s Aasha programme successfully delivered its Annual Community Fun Day and Football Tournament in the Chicksand Estate. Over 300 local residents, youth and children participated in the activities which included bouncy castles, face painting, youth activities and football tournaments.
Football Re-Union from the 80’s
In addition something different and inspiring took place this year. For the first time in over 25 years local residents who lay down the foundations of football in the Bangladeshi community invited four of the pioneering teams to take part in a friendly re-union tournament.
An afternoon of nostalgic football followed as players from the 70s, 80s and 90s reunited at the iconic ‘Brick Lane Gutt’, a venue for many tournaments in those early days. The original players from Stars of East End, Shapla, YMO and PYO turned up along with their supporters, many of whom hadn’t seen each other for years, to play a round robin of 5-A-Side friendlies.
Brick Lane and its surrounding area have undergone many significant changes in the past few decades as new communities and businesses start to move in and old ones move on. A photo exhibition of football competitions, players and the Chicksand Estate from the 70’s and 80’s was on display. There was a sense of connection with a rich history of local sports, youth and community. Today’s youth were able to get a glimpse into a part of their local community history. The event took place alongside the Annual Community Fun Day (Fataash) and Gutt Football Tournament. It was good feelings for the older generation to see young people today continue their legacy and vice versa.
Local football legend and the very first Sporting Bengal captain Goyas Miahwas a distinguished defender during the heydays for Stars of East End.
“The best thing about today is seeing faces we haven’t seen in years,” he said. “It’s great to be back together on a pitch and I thank everyone for everything.”
“Great stuff & well done Osmani Trust. Marvellous to see so many old faces. Brought back fond memories.”Aroz Miah 46
Gutt Football Tournament
For the regular Gutt Football tournament places were limited to 10 teams. The quality of teams taking part showed exactly why they had to be in the tournament as they all tried to out-class each other to an epic final where FDW narrowly earned a victory over PYO (NOGs) who finished as runners up.
“As a young boy I always wished I could take part in this annual tournament. When I finally did and actually won, it felt overwhelming. Years later the feeling of winning this tournament is just as great as it was back then. This year our team was made up of people who are from very different ages, just a small example of how this event brings people together. The togetherness this annual event brings is remarkable. I could not have won without the boys in our team. Truly gifted individuals.” Abdul Aziz – FDW Team Captain
“Not only is it a fun sporting event, but also one that encourages families to attend and engage in various games/activities.
As a long standing member of the community, I have been lucky enough to participate with my friends in the tournament for a number of years. It is very humbling to know that the event has kept up its tradition of demonstrating passion, togetherness and a sense of community.” Abdul Malik
Overall it was a great community and family atmosphere that also promoted sports, community cohesion and local history. Osmani Trust will be further developing this theme of raising awareness of local community/youth history through further events and exhibitions. Watch this space!