A BHS Football Story

Monday, 18 January 2021

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Former staff member Jim Shaw (1973 – 1987) recently sent us a couple of his memorable stories from his days at BHS. Here is one about football:

“In 1985 the UN billeted it’s UNIFIL officers in Brummana. They took over the Tom Wells restaurant across the road from the top of the Primary School Drive as a kind of unofficial mess. I had been the only foreigner that I know of in the village for several years so I welcomed the company and stopped by fairly frequently. 

A Finnish Officer whose name I have, unfortunately, forgotten (at the time I found it almost unpronounceable) said he had seen the Schools 1st XI training on the football field and wondered if he could join them. That evening I asked the team captain, Kameel Sawaya, if he could take part. ‘We don’t want pensioners,’ he replied, ‘we are very serious about our football.’ After exerting a great of pressure on him he, finally, agreed he could join the practice once only. The officer concerned was in his late thirties so I put it to Kameel that he would probably only come that once and when he realised how good the team was he wouldn’t come again.

I gave the Finnish officer the day and time of the next practice and forgot all about it. Kameel came to see me after the practice to tell me how good my friend had been.‘ He was better than the whole team plus ‘Didi’ (the coach) put together!!’ A couple of days later I saw the officer concerned and told him what a good impression he had made and that he was more than welcome to take part in any future training sessions. He smiled and said,’ I should probably have told you that I used to play for Finland!!!”