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A 60 years tribute to Formby Junior Sports Club from Frank Rourke



Formby Junior Sports Club is alive and kicking and is still providing football for children after sixty years. This is a wonderful achievement and it all started in such a simple way when my dad Jim Rourke took me, his nine year old son Frank, to Duke Street Park for a game of football on January 7th, 1959. Several boys also aged nine or so joined in. They all enjoyed it so much that they told their friends about it, which resulted in a rapid build up of enough boys for at least four teams. Gradually with more and more boys joining, Jim invented team names e.g. Park United, Sandune Rovers, Pinewood Athletic and from that moment all the teams belonged to Formby Junior Sports Club “Inter Club “ Football Section. The idea of properly organised football matches with friends in their team, playing against friends in the opposing teams, immediately appealed to the young football enthusiasts. It was something different and what was so important ‘everyone got a game.’ It was also a very friendly atmosphere. At the time it may not have been realised by the youngsters that membership into Inter Club was the beginning in many cases, of forming lifelong friendships. The gem of an idea created by Jim Rourke started all those many years ago is still the blueprint for Inter Club football in 2019. The club has never wavered from this ethos. As the years rolled by, FJSC like many clubs entered teams in local leagues, had much success but the jewel in the crown has always been Inter Club at FJSC. When I speak to former members some now in their sixties, fifties, forties etc. their memories are always about Inter Club football. Everyone has a different memory to share about the sometimes forgotten club in Formby – FJSC. This is the year not to forget the oldest junior club of its kind in Formby. It has served the local community so well and for so long. Those with a special memory please email me at stellathecat4@gmail.com so we can include your memories on the club’s new website. Jim’s birthday was on 18th April. He would have been 107! It seems very fitting we give him this mention that he very much deserves. He was born in 1912 during the same week as the Titanic sank. He reached the grand age of 93 and appeared regularly at FJSC’s home at Deansgate Lane until 2006 when he passed away. Jim received an MBE for Services to Youth in 1977 of which he was extremely proud. I have had the task of making sure that Jim’s legacy has carried forward. Not an easy task but with the help of the club’s hard working and dedicated committee we have tried to ensure that FJSC goes on and on. Strangely enough my dad’s club involvement lasted forty-seven years and mine as a club organiser since 1972 has now lasted forty-seven years as well. During the sixty years thousands upon thousands of children have been members of FJSC. They have not only been footballers but could have been members for the club’s many other sporting activities including Jim’s favourite pastime Chess but also Athletics, Rounders, Pool, Snooker, Table Tennis, Judo, Netball, Badminton and Kwik Cricket to name a few! The help of many volunteers over the years has been essential in the organisation of FJSC. We thank them all. Our next aim will be to reach the landmark of seventy years. As long as children want to play football at FJSC the club will organise football for all abilities. We look towards the younger generations to volunteer their services to help in the organisation of the club. However, “FJSC’s Boot Room” i.e. The Executive Committee, the backbone of the club, is so very important in overseeing the running of the club. The combination of youth and experienced volunteers will see that FJSC remains in safe hands. To celebrate Formby Junior Sports Club’s 60 Years, a Dinner Dance has been arranged to take place at Formby Hall Golf Club on Saturday June 29TH (details below). It would be great if former members from the six decades could come along on the night to celebrate FJSC’s remarkable achievement, to share memories and renew old friendships. Of course it is hoped that the parents of our present club members will also come along on this special evening. It is sure to be a great evening. FORMBY JUNIOR SPORTS CLUB 60 YEAR ANNIVERSARY DINNER DANCE AT FORMBY HALL GOLF CLUB ON SATURDAY 29th JUNE 2019 – 7pm to 1am • Smart casual • 3 course dinner • Live band • DJ to 1.00am • Welcome drink • No Raffle • Order your tickets by 10th May • Payment required by 31st May • Payments to be made by cash, cheque or directly to Club Bank account • Tickets £35 – contact Frank or Marg at - stellathecat4@gmail.com or Website – formbyjuniorsportsclub.co.uk

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