JUNE and July marked the 30th anniversary of a unique contact between two football clubs. Lerwick Spurs were invited to Måløy, Norway, in July 1978 and this year Tornado Måløy returned to Lerwick for the eighth time to celebrate the event with a week of football and social get-togethers.
Two squads of players, junior and senior, travelled across on two planes and were accompanied by a few old friends. This had proved to be the most difficult of all the trips either way. Travel became more difficult because of the disappointing and unacceptable loss of the Nörrona ferry link between Shetland and the rest of our North Atlantic areas.
Also, accommodation restrictions unfortunately proved to be a problem mainly because of a lack of communication within our town. It was only due to our many friends in Lerwick and Gulberwick that we were able to carry through our plans.
Weather, to a small degree, played its part, with a planned match versus Yell/Unst having to be abandoned due to what can only be described as a waterlogged pitch in Mid Yell – disappointing for all concerned.
Problems are, of course, there to be overcome and the next week turned out to be an eventful one. Robert and Lee Jamieson coped admirably with all internal transport arrangements. Luckily both flights to Sumburgh arrived safely and we were set to go.
The young Tornado Måløy squad arrived on Saturday and played Junior Spurs on Sunday, the game resulting in a 7-1 victory to the visitors. A 1-1 scoreline at half time did not point towards the final score but eventually, the skilful passing game played by Tornado Måløy overwhelmed Spurs, whose only scorer was Luke Hastings.
This game was followed by a welcome night in Sound Hall, which coincided with the European Championship Cup Final – the result seeming to please most if not all football-loving supporters.
Gilbertson Park was the venue again on Monday for the first senior match between Spurs and Tornado Måløy. Each visit involves two matches for a shield which this year has been newly named the Kåre Reed Shield in memory of our late, great friend who sadly passed away two years ago. Kåre was the initiator of our contact in 1978 and we hope this will continue into the foreseeable future.
As with the junior match, the first senior game was a curious mixture. By late second-half, Tornado Måløy had built up a 4-1 lead with only a James Johnston goal counting for Spurs. However, a pleasing comeback by Spurs saw two late goals by Steven McKay and Connel Gresham keeping the outcome of the shield winners in doubt for the final match on Friday.
On Tuesday a puffin-based trip to Sumburgh Head was followed by a tremendous buffet lunch at Sumburgh Head – thanks to all hotel staff. Some of our Norwegian friends took the chance to visit Jarlshof and then we hit St Ninians Isle with the weather showing off the tombola at its best.
Finally we moved on to Boddam pitch for a match between our guests and a Ness Utd Select – a memorable occasion if ever there was one. The game ended in a 6-6 draw.
The young visitors were first on the score sheet as the Ness stand-in keeper dropped a catch to allow the striker to prod home from close range. Ness were back on level terms shortly after when Grant Redfern lobbed the TM keeper.
Good movement and passing from the TM youngsters saw them threaten down the flanks but good recovery tackles and some sharp goalkeeping kept them at bay.
At the other end Kevin Smith and Bobby Leask were proving a handful for the TM defenders and it looked like there would be more goals before half time. Once more it was TM that went ahead when two goals in quick succession saw them take a deserved 3-1 lead.
Ness were still threatening though and Leask reacted fastest to pull one back for the home side before a TM defender cleared the ball against the onrushing winger. The ball rebounded off Alwyn Flaws to make it 3-3 at half time.
Ness made three or four changes at half time and after an even 10 minutes where both teams threatened the home side went ahead through Smith. As the game wore on the young Ness team’s confidence grew and Smith scored two more goals for his hat-trick. A good run from young Sean Bell almost gave Ness a bigger lead but TM pulled a goal back with 20 minutes left.
Some great movement and passing saw TM score again before a mistake saw the visitors equalise just before full time.
It was decided to have a penalty shoot out as both sets of players were keen to continue an enjoyable game. After some excellent penalties TM won the shoot out 5-4 in what was a more lightsome conclusion than those in the recent European Championships.
Thanks to Irvine Burgess and the Ness boys for a splendid occasion.
Wednesday was a day off for everyone, punctuated by a conducted tour of the Up-Helly-A’ Exhibition organised by 2009 Guizer Jarl Stephen Mouat, who has been part of the Spurs set-up for many years.
After taking in the successful junior inter county match at the Gilbertson Park, players and friends of Spurs and Tornado Måløy gathered in the British Legion for the grand prize draw organised by Spurs Football and Hockey Clubs.
Congratulations to our good old Celtic friend Bruce Crossan on winning the first prize of £500.
Many thanks to everyone who donated prizes to the draw, which was a great success. Also thanks to the Legion staff for their help and co-operation.
A bus trip was organised to Unst and Yell on Thursday and this took place despite poor weather conditions all day. Our good friend George Jamieson led the tour of Unst with the Boat Haven being the highlight. Thanks to George and other Unst locals for their hospitality.
Although the match in Yell was abandoned, the whole visiting party were royally received in the Hilltop Bar where we spent a happy and cordial time along with a brilliant buffet. Many thanks to the Hilltop staff for their great hospitality.
Friday was the final football day Spurs and Tornado Måløy juniors met at Clickimin South, and with a stronger starting line-up, Spurs put up a better show, only going down 4-2, with Sam Goudie and Shane Jamieson scoring for Spurs.
Immediately afterwards, the two senior sides met at Gilbertson Park to decide the shield winners and this time Tornado Måløy overran Spurs to the tune of 8-1, Connel Gresham scoring Spurs’ only goal.
Spurs were outplayed by a fast, organised display of passing football from which we hope the boys have learned a lesson.
Islesburgh Community Centre was the venue on Friday evening for a civic reception hosted by Shetland Islands Council. Convener Sandy Cluness welcomed 150 guests and a splendid meal followed. After the meal speeches from both sides told of the special friendship built up over the 30 years between Spurs and Tornado Måløy.
Speakers from Spurs were Harry Jamieson, James Johnston and Jim Peterson while replies were made by Øyvin Reed, Per Magne Loken and Eirik Holvik for Tornado Måløy. Presentations were made both ways, with Eirik receiving the Kåre Reed Memorial Shield from Spurs captain James Johnston. On her retirement from the Spurs club, Catherine Willn was presented with a bouquet of flowers. Many thanks to her for her years of dedicated support.
Many thanks also to convener Cluness and the SIC for a grand evening and Dave Ferrier for his disco efforts. Also to Islesburgh staff for the meal and general co-operation during the week.
No problems regarding travel were experienced on Saturday and Sunday as our visitors returned home. Thanks also to Lerwick Boating Club for their hospitality on Saturday evening.
All in all, we believe it was a successful week and greatest thanks must go to all hosts and hostesses in Lerwick and Gulberwick for accommodation beyond the call of duty. We hope you were not too inconvenienced. Also many thanks to referees Dave Ferrier, Robert Leask and Robert Summers and to The Shetland Times and Shetland Litho for their help.
Spurs were officially invited back to visit Tornado Måløy in 2010 and we hope all our players will respond to that invitation. Friends wishing to join us should get in touch with club officials.