(AMANDALA Sports Ed. Note: Comprising two letters courtesy of Teddy Gonzalez, “Leslie Sharp writes BH Football Association in 1971” appeared on pages 27-28 of Amandala for Friday January 15, 2021, in connection with the Teddy’s current story, “Spurs Football History of Club Football and Belize”.)
Sat, January 16, 2021
Dear sports editor Amandala,
Once again, I cannot help but congratulate you and Amandala Press for your dedication to providing football players, sponsors, fans and supporters with this valuable information.
Growing up in Dangriga, I heard of Leslie Sharp, but only saw him in the late 1960s when he brought his San Joaquin team to play against the Royal Athletic Club (RAC). in Dangriga. During this time, I was playing for Sacred Heart School with Anthony Adderly (Garrincha), Roy Velasquez-Coburn (Brazilian) and Philip Palacio (Buck).
Mr Sharp encouraged most of Dangriga and Pomona’s top footballers to leave Dangriga and go play for him at Libertad. He was following in the footsteps of his father, Frank Sharp, who was football’s biggest sponsor in the Stann Creek district and the most consistent in the country of Belize with his team, the Queens Park Rangers.
This team was one of the best in the country of Belize and won more national championships than any other team I have known.
Frank Sharp has recruited players from across the country of Belize. Once you became a member of the team, you automatically got a job to work at the Pomona factory. Players had free time to practice and play their games, and had other privileges that average workers did not have.
Leslie Sharp was doing an analysis of football in the country of Belize, and also recommending players to the president of the British Honduras Football Association, who he thought would make a good national squad.
If I remember correctly, at that time Orange Walk beat the Queens Park Rangers in this inter-district competition. It was then that Daniel Lino “Dline” and Ramball Rodriguez were both accused of “selling” the game to the Briceño brothers.
He was the sponsor of San Joaquin at the time and, as expected in Belize, recommended some of the players on his squad. This is an issue that we in Belize have yet to resolve to this day and that needs to be addressed.
From my experience as a football player in the Orange Walk and Corozal districts in the 1970s, I can testify that Mr. Leslie Sharp made a significant contribution to the development, maintenance and promotion of football in the district of Corozal. He was inducted into the Belizean American Football Hall of Fame (BAFHF) here in the United States in 2017 for his contribution to our beloved support. Since leaving football in Corozal, he has built a foundation to maintain for Corozalenos. They got very competitive and started winning national championships afterwards.
(AMANDALA Sports Ed. Note: Comprising two letters courtesy of Teddy Gonzalez, “Leslie Sharp writes BH Football Association in 1971” appeared on pages 27-28 of Amandala for Friday January 15, 2021, in connection with the Teddy’s current story, “Spurs Football Club and Belize Football History.” The views expressed in the letter above are those of Mr. Ramos and not necessarily of this newspaper.)