History of the St. Anthony’s College TIGERS-In Brief
Football at St. Anthony’s College was not the same football we know it today to be. St. Anthony’s College was established in 1969 as a private institution for young gentlemen-meaning that parents had to pay tuition fees for their sons to attend school. Football back then was played just for the sheer fun of the game. To many observers, the students were spoilt little boys who played football because they wanted a “sweat”. Football meant nothing to them and did not feature in their future plans. The sport was nowhere in their future because their lives had already been decided for them by their parents, the majority of whom were business owners.
Then came the 1980’s with the intention to change the way St. Anthony’s College was viewed. The College was in the process of changing from a private institution to a government-assisted school. The best teachers were sought to improve academic and examination results. Among these teachers were Mr. Emmett Glasgow (now deceased), Mr. Martin Cooper and Mr. Stedman Hazel-who decided to assist and train students who were eager to play football. These three teachers were not coaches, but people who loved the beautiful game and were harassed by students to start football in the school.
Students from the Junior Secondary Schools were also introduced in the school in this time period. Life for these students were in stark contrast to those of the private students. These students saw football as a means to improve their future. With the introduction of these students, football became more serious at St. Anthony’s College. Being black at a white school for the Junior Secondary students was a whole new experience. The job of then School Principal, Mr. Paul Borely, was therefore not an easy one. One main weapon in the School’s artillery was sports. Thus with the assistance and support of Mr. Borely and the three dedicated teachers of Mr. Glasgow, Mr. Cooper and Mr. Hazel, a football team were formed and matches was played with other schools who showed no respect for the young and inexperienced players of the College. Although there was no football coach or Physical Education teacher, the teaching staff, who knew little or nothing about football, gave full support. This was noticed by the students. The students, through sport, became closer together.
The year was 1983; the month September, the date Monday 5th. On this crucial date saw the introduction of a second set of Government teachers. These included St. Anthony’s College new Physical Education teacher and football coach, Mr. Nigel Grosvenor who soon became known as ‘Groovy’. Mr. Grosvenor was a past student and footballer of Trinity College, Moka, Maraval and graduate of West Virginia University via a football scholarship. There he obtained his Bachelor of Science in Physical Education and upon return to Trinidad, taught Physical Education at St. Benedict’s College before coming to St. Anthony’s College.
The baton of Mr. Emmett Glasgow, Mr. Martin Cooper and Mr. Stedman Hazel was now passed onto Mr. Grosvenor. From September 1983, football at St. Anthony’s College began to take a new dimension as Mr. Grosvenor began the task of bringing respect to the College’s football, starting from the ground up. Sleep-in camps at the College’s Gymnasium and overseas football tours were organized. Mr. Grosvenor together with Mr. Ken Elie (Member of the Trinidad and Tobago Defense Force) produced talented players such as Michael Mc Comie, Shane Pierre, Dwain Allahar, Nigel Ramdeen, Marvin Gallop, Nicholas Navet, Keston Lambert, Ricky Aleong, Martin Anatol (now deceased), Barry Ross, Terry St. Louis, Bruce Lessey, Kirt Solomon, Dexter Gill, Joel ‘Hammers’ Brizan, Sean ‘Choco’ DeFour and Troy ‘Hustler’ Douglas.
Besides being a Physical Education teacher and football coach, Mr. Grosvenor was also involved in the game itself, representing Essex Football Club in the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association, being the club’s leading goal scorer. However his career was cut short by an injury during a match. Mr. Grosvenor viewed his injury with a positive attitude saying “God wanted me to get closer to St. Anthony’s College” and thus gave him more time to concentrate on football at the College and its goals. (The lesson to both students/players/prospective players and their parents-a lesson that Mr. Grosvenor and the College continues to endorse: “Never count on football alone. Get your education first and anything can come after that”. )
In 1986, it was decided that the football uniform of St. Anthony’s College should be red and white striped jerseys. In 1987, St. Anthony’s College was promoted to the Championship Division of the then Colleges Football League. Also in this year, through the assistance of Mr. Jean Mouttet and Mr. Bobby O’ Connor (employees of our first sponsors Toyota), the football team was named St. Anthony’s College ‘ Tigers’.
Throughout the years that followed, football at St. Anthony’s College have come a very long way. A football program was started and continues today with some six teams entering the Secondary Schools Football League each year: Under 13, Under 14, Under 16 ‘A’, Under 16 ‘B’, Reserve (also known as the Second Eleven) and the Championship Team. Mr. Grosvenor was assisted in coaching by Mr. Ken Elie, Mr. Bert Balfour, Mr. Ricardo Stephenson, Sean De Four, Mr. Andy Aleong, Mr. Clifford Lezama, Mr. Ron La Forest and Mr. Anthony Alexander.
Assisting Mr. Grosvenor presently are Mr. Brian Smith (who has a long history of coaching at the College and also a past student); Mr. Nigel Pierre (Parent); Fitness Trainer Mr. Rhodney Allen (father of past football player/student Rashaad Allen); Physiotherapist (Physical Education Teacher and Past Student) Mr. Andrew Francis; Mr. Travis Joseph (Business Teacher and Past Student/footballer); Team Manager Mr. Anthony Clarence (father of past football players/students Abiola and Ajani Clarence).
St. Anthony’s College Tigers have won numerous awards and trophies both at the Secondary Schools Football League and at the National level and have established itself as a premier powerhouse to be reckoned with in the Secondary Schools Football League of Trinidad and Tobago.
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