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St George’s Colts honour former team-mates after FA Cup success

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St George’s Colts players, coaches and supporters paid a graveside tribute to former team-mates Freddy Hall and Osagi Bascome following Sunday’s FA Cup triumph over holders North Village (Photograph supplied)

The memory of absent team-mates was not lost amid the wild celebrations after St George’s Colts triumphantly raised the prestigious FA Cup for the first time.

Players, coaches and supporters paid moving graveside tributes to former goalkeeper Freddy Hall and midfielder Osagi Bascome, who passed away less than a year apart of each other in 2021 and 2022, shortly after their 4-0 demolition of holders North Village in the final at Flora Duffy Stadium on Sunday.

“To win the club’s first ever FA Cup is monumental for us a team, club and community,” head coach Jarreau Hayward told The Royal Gazette.

“That win was for our legends as well. To those who have gone before us both alive and deceased.

St George’s paid a graveside tribute to Osagi Bascome after their maiden FA Cup success (Photograph supplied)

“They planted the seeds and this is fruit ripening. We are extremely grateful to them.”

St George’s defender Ernest Signor, who announced that the FA Cup final would be his last game, was another focusing on the past while basking in the glory of the present.

“It was vital for us to win this trophy for our community and also for our fallen soldiers, especially Freddy Hall and Osagi Bascome,” Signor said.

“This one is for you fellows; continue to watch over us.

Hayward also paid tribute to his players, coaching staff and those who contributed to the team’s success behind the scenes.

St George’s paid a graveside tribute to former team-mate Freddy Hall (Photograph supplied)

“Credit is due to the players as they overcame a lot this season,” he said. “There was no fear in that locker room, only humbleness and confidence. They were phenomenal.

“I also have to give massive credit to Cal Patches Dill, my assistant coach. He is my big brother. I love him and his guidance. He balances our team and his wisdom and ball knowledge is priceless.

“There are other people who have helped guide us through the season and they know who they are. Without them we could not have achieved this. It was truly a team effort.”

Signor is delighted to reap the benefits of the hard work the team have put in on the training ground throughout the season.

“We put in the work and we got rewarded for it,” he said. “In our chant we say hard work pays off, and it surely did.

“We really showed our fans and the island what we are capable of, and I take my hat off to my team, the coach and his staff.

“This feels very good and I am proud of my team for pulling it off. It’s a good way to end the season on a high, especially for the community, coaching staff, the team and myself as I am retiring.

“That was a beautiful feeling and I have won everything now. That was a big cup and the only one I didn’t win with Dandy Town, so now I can celebrate this one with my home team.

“We made history and it’s a great feeling. St George’s boys forever.”

Present at the stadium to witness the momentous occasion was former St George’s player and coach Noel “Sub” Smith, who was overcome with emotion after the final whistle blew.

"It was very emotional, which came automatically,“ he said. ”It was a beautiful sight and long overdue.

Noel “Sub” Smith celebrates St George’s success

“These guys were so much focused on doing what a lot of us in St George's tried to do and didn't come off. They really did a good job and Village didn't know what hit them.”

Hayward’s team were making their first appearance in the final and are the second team from St George’s to win the competition behind former east end rivals Wellington Rovers, who achieved the feat during the 1957-58 season before disbanding.

“It took us a long time but we have now been there and the only thing we can do is continue to go forward,” Smith added.

“I really congratulate the team and the club for the things they have put together to make what is now happening on the field possible and we can only go forward.”

The FA Cup is the second major trophy St George’s have won after edging Devonshire Colts 1-0 in the 1996 Friendship Trophy final. A defender in that successful team was Neil Paynter, who retired as St George’s president this year, but he was on hand to celebrate this generation of players.

Former St George's Colts defender and club president Neil Paynter (File photograph by Akil Simmons)

“Being a part of the 1996 team was remarkable and it was an honour and a privilege, particularly doing it with your boyhood club,” Paynter said.

“A club you grew up with and helped mould and shape you to the footballer you are today, and to have that achievement was an honour and a privilege.

“This group of players, the achievement that they have done in my opinion has surpassed the success of 1996 for which they build on.

“I just believe that this was the right time for us to win this FA Cup for our community and I’m hoping it brings our community together because success breeds happiness and also brings that community vibe.

“These guys, what they have done, I believe is our greatest feat in football at St George’s Colts and I just believe that they are going to go from strength to strength.

“If they stick together, just hang in there and do what needs to be done, I think they will make more success for our club because I believe that the FA Cup is the one cup that every footballer wants to achieve.

“I am so happy, not only for this crop of players, but more for our players from years back, who toiled and are the foundation of St George’s Cricket Club and St George’s Colts, to see this happen in their lifetime.”

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Published April 09, 2024 at 8:00 am (Updated April 08, 2024 at 4:57 pm)

St George’s Colts honour former team-mates after FA Cup success

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