In the North, the premier league was the Port-of-Spain Football League (POSFL) with a First Division that included the following teams: Maple, Malvern; Colts; Shamrock; Casuals; Sporting Club; Providence; Notre Dame; Queen's Royal College (QRC); and St. Mary's College (CIC). Trinidad & Tobago was still under colonialist rule and soccer, like everything else in the country, reflected the racial and social barriers that existed at that time. As a result, the two clubs with predominantly white players were Shamrock and Casuals; the only other First Division team that fielded some white players was Notre Dame. Although the two premier high schools, QRC and CIC, competed in the POSFL First Division, they played annually for the intercollegiate Alexander (InterCol) Cup. The Alexander Cup competition was expanded during the decade to include Fatima College. Lacking an adequate stadium, all POSFL First Division and Cup play was conducted in the Queen's Park Savannah, in front of the Grand Stand and inside the horse-racing track that existed at that time. (With the passage of time, this site was used annually to construct the temporary North Stand for use during Carnival.) At the northern end of the Queen's Park Savannah, the Northern Amateur Football League (NAFL) functioned with teams such as Dynamos, Paragon, Police, Luton Town, Midvale, and Fire Services. Spectator interest in both the POSFL and NAFL grew as fans could attend games free and watch from behind rope lines close to the sidelines.
In the South, there were two separate First Class Leagues sponsored by the Southern Amateur Football Association (SAFA) and the Southern Amateur Football League (SAFL). Southern first division teams included Apex, Spitfire, United British Oilfields of Trinidad (UBOT), Shell, Trinidad Petroleum Development (TPD), Juniors, British Petroleum (BP)-Palo Seco, BP-Fyzabad, Naparima College, and Presentation College. Southern teams had the benefit of training on superior fields that were provided by the oil companies. Like their counterparts in the North, Naparima and Presentation Colleges competed annually for the southern intercollegiate Cup (Cutteridge Cup), with the winner playing the northern intercollegiate champion for the Cow & Gate Cup.
Player interest in soccer grew by leaps and bounds during the 1950s and new leagues such as the Arima Football League were formed along the East-West corridor from Arima to Port-of-Spain. The addition of new leagues brought many more teams into competition for the Football Association (FA) Cup elimination tounament sponsored annually by the TAFA.
In 1953, T&T received its first exposure to international competition outside the Caribbean when the following team of 20 players was selected to represent T&T in a tour of the United Kingdom: (Goalkeepers) - Pat Gomez, Joseph Gonsalves (Captain); (Full-backs) - John Atwell, Syl Dopson, Bernard Garcia, Gerry Parsons; (Half-backs) - Conrad Brathwaite, Delbert Charleau, Doyle Griffith, Allan Joseph, Ian Seale, and Shay Seymour; (Forwards) - Colin Agostini, Rex Burnett, Paul Carr, Robert Hamel-Smith, Carlton Hinds, Carlton Lewis, Horace Lovelace, and Matthew Nunes. T&T played 14 games and finished with a [W=5 T=3 L=6] record. The following are the results (reproduced with permission from Ian Nannestad, editor, "Soccer History," Issue 1, Spring 2002. Copyright Soccer History Ltd 2002. Not to be reproduced in whole or part without permission.):
|RESULTS OF 1953 T&T TOUR OF THE UNITED KINGDOM|
|DATE||HOME TEAM (GOALS)||VISITOR (GOALS)||VENUE||T&T SCORERS|
|August 26||Dorset FA (7)||T&T (3)||Recreation Ground, Weymouth.||Delbert Charleau (Penalty); Robert Hamel-Smith (2)|
|August 29||Somerset FA (0)||T&T (1)||Bridgewater||Carlton Hinds|
|August 31||Bristol Rovers (4)||T&T (1)||Eastville, Bristol||Paul Carr|
|September 5||Lovell's Athletic (2)||T&T (1)||Newport||Horace Lovelace|
|September 10||Barnstaple Town (2)||T&T (1)||Barnstaple||Shay Seymour|
|September 12||Ilfracombe Town (0)||T&T (2)||Ilfracombe||Carlton Lewis; Carlton Hinds|
|September 16||Exeter City (1)||T&T (1)||St. James Park, Exeter||Paul Carr|
|September 19||Torquay United (0)||T&T (4)||Plainmoor, Torquay||Robert Hamel-Smith; Shay Seymour; Matthew Nunes|
|September 23||Plymouth Argyle (3)||T&T (0)||Home Park, Plymouth||None|
|September 26||Cornwall FA (3)||T&T (6)||St. Austell||Paul Carr (2); Matthew Nunes; Carlton Hinds (3)|
|September 30||Cornwall FA (2)||T&T (4)||Falmouth||John Atwell; Rex Burnett; Shay Seymour; Carlton Hinds|
|October 3||Cornwall FA (1)||T&T (1)||Penlee Park, Penzance||Shay Seymour|
|October 7||Corinthian League (4)||T&T (2)||Selhurst Park, London||Matthew Nunes; Delbert Charleau (Penalty)|
|October 10||FA Amateur XI (2)||T&T (2)||Plough Lane, Wimbledon||Matthew Nunes; Shay Seymour|
In 1955, a team of English League players, including Bedford Jezzard of Fulham, toured Trinidad. In 1959, T&T players competed against players from other British West Indian colonies for selection to a West Indies team that toured England. T&T players who made the WI team were: Alvin Corneal (forward); Pat Gomez (goalkeeper); Doyle Griffith (half-back); Matthew Nunes (forward); and Willie Rodriguez (full-back). In addition to these players, other standouts during this decade included: Roland Baptiste (goalkeeper); Son Baptiste (forward); Kelvin Berassa (forward); Ivan DeGourville (half-back); Carlton Franco (forward); and Shay Seymour (half-back).
|FA CUP RESULTS|
|1950||UBOT (3)||Hurricanes (1)|
|1951||Joint Winners - UBOT (1) Providence (1)|
|1953||Maple (1)||Juniors (0)|
|1954||UBOT (4)||Providence (0)|
|1955||Malvern (1)||UBAA (0)|
|1956||TPD (2)||Notre Dame (0)|
|1957||Joint Winners after overtime - Shell (2) Shamrock (2)|
|1958||Casuals (1)||TPD (0)|
|1959||Shamrock (1)||Apex (0)|
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