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John Shephard Memorial Cup kicks off new era for Veterans Football

The John Shephard Memorial Cup returned this Tuesday with six teams playing out what was described as the “curtain raiser to the a new season of Veterans football.”
A who’s who of Gibraltar football from the past turned out to take part in what was a highly competitive and exciting tournament spearheaded by Liegh Thorne who is overseeing the development of a new era of the game.
Veterans football displayed its popularity among past players with a large turnout on what was essentially the first full day back to winter hours for many following the National Day weekend break.
There was a positive ambience among many players, some of whom have through the years participated annually in matches such as the John Shephard Memorial Cup.
However, for many there was an added incentive which translated into an optimistic view of Veterans football into the future as this week’s cup tournament signalled the start of a new era in which the Gibraltar FA will be looking to announce details of a veterans league to be played during the 2023/24 season.
For many present there seemed to be unanimous support “its better organised and we know when we will be playing, so I am looking forward to it,” commented one of the veteran players as he entered the field to prepare for Tuesday’s tournament. His comments receiving approval from others around him who displayed the same enthusiasm towards the creation of a league.
Whilst the league itself will be considered somewhat as a recreational side of the sport, the tournament this week highlighted how the competitive edge will be more than present. Although fitness levels weren’t high for many, the competitive battling and determination on the pitch saw some interesting moments and some great goals.
Played on Pitch 2 at the Victoria Stadium the John Shephard Memorial Cup saw teams competing teams with the adopted traditional names from yesteryear:

• Jubilee
• St Theresa’s
• Prince of Wales
• Gibraltar
• Royal Sovereign
• Albion

Present at the tournament were the late John Shephard’s family who were to present the trophy to winners after the tournament.
(Full results and winners photos in later edition.)

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