Club celebrates centenary

< From left are Norman Samuels (the oldest living Shamrocks member at 94), Nithia Pillay (Shamrocks president), Deva Vandayar (honorary life vice president) and Boya Chetty (honorary life vice president). Photo:SIVA MOOTHOO
< From left are Norman Samuels (the oldest living Shamrocks member at 94), Nithia Pillay (Shamrocks president), Deva Vandayar (honorary life vice president) and Boya Chetty (honorary life vice president). Photo:SIVA MOOTHOO

THE members of Shamrocks Football Club have had quite an exciting year as they celebrated the club’s centenary.

Since it was first established in 1918, the club, then known as Shamrocks Indian Football Club until it was changed in 1958, has strived, and succeeded, to make a difference in the community.

The club was formed after the end of World War 1 by a group of fishermen on Walmer Road’s fish corner. After knocking off from work, they often met at a café named Shamrocks, which is where the name originated.

The founding members, remembered after all these years, were Sopia Padayachee, Jimmy Reddy, Peter O’Brien, D.G. Naidoo and Alfred Naidoo.

Shamrocks Football Club has survived through very difficult times, including World War 2 and the apartheid era.

Some of the most influential members they take pride in mentioning include Rajoo Moodaley, during the 1940s and early 1950s, when he took over coaching of the reserve team.

“We were then facing defeat and closure of the club, but (it survived) thanks to Moodaley turning this club around,” the club said.

In their history books, they also praise Dila Lalla’s involvement, saying he used to walk around South End to find players for Shamrocks to have a team.

“He even paid money out of his own pocket to keep this club afloat. We salute you.

“During the late 1950s and early 1960s, Dila ran this club on his own steam, at times with only five members at meetings.”

The members of Shamrocks Football Club were honoured this year to form part of a 100-year legacy and hope to continue that legacy for at least another century.

The full history of the club is currently on display in an exhibition at South End Museum.

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