Colts reunion a ‘Belmont Thing’

Date Published: 
Trinidad Newsday

IT WILL be a “Belmont Thing” when the Freetown Foundation stage a reunion of the Colts Football Club as part of their “Guarding Belmont’s Legacy”.

According to Elton Scantlebury, president of the foundation, this reunion of the once feared Belmont Battalion is part of their trust to establish a Belmont Museum.

The reunion will take place at the Belmont Community Centre from 7 pm on May 31.

Scantlebury and ex-Colts and national striker Vernon “Shay” Seymour reminisced on the old days when the Belmont Battalion represented the community.

They remembered when Colts were playing in front the Grand Stand, Queen’s Park Savannah, the entire community of Belmont would occupy the western end of the ground. It was once said, thieves could have a field day in Belmont when Colts were playing since all of the community would leave their homes unattended.

Scantlebury’s dream appears to be coming into fruition, as due to his diligent work he was able to interest UNESCO, who agreed to assist in his effort. And UNESCO wants Scantlebury to make Belmont a model community so there will be establishment of others to follow.

As a result, Scantlebury has been researching religion, popular families and sporting organisations as a first stage in his community reunion drive.

He said, communities have been lost since uncles, aunts, grandmothers are no longer taking an active role in their families.

He said he expects all former Colts players to attend the “Belmont Thing” when they will he saluted.

Scantlebury also made a point of asking about the criteria used for persons to get into the Hall Of Fame.

He noted than none of the great Colts footballers, Horace “Pepperwine” Lovelace, Leon Munroe, “Diamond” Jim Harding. Jerry Brown and even “Shay” Seymour have not been considered for the honour of being enshrined in the Hall Of Fame.

Seymour remembered the Red Cross Cup encounter between North and South when the Southerners raced to a 3-0 half-time lead, a game in which he played.

On the resumption, however, skipper and goalkeeper Joey Gonzalves shifted Carlton “Squeakie” Hinds from inside-left alongside Lovelace and Len Leggard from inside-right alongside Carlton “Putty” Lewis to start one of the greatest comebacks as North went on to win 5-3.

Seymour was one of the local footballers along with Matthew Nunes in the vanguard of professional contracts in England, first going off to play for Bury in the English Second Division before moving to several other teams.

He credited Munroe for his rise to stardom, since he shifted from the centre-forward spot to make way for him (Seymour) after he had been scoring goals aplenty in the Intermediate Division including one game in which he knocked in seven goals.

Scantlebury though said among the invited guests for the “Belmont Thing” are Sports Minister Gary Hunt and Port-of-Spain Mayor Murchison Brown, himself a Belmont resident for many years.

And for the occasion Scantlebury is urging “wear something blue”.