St. Patrick launch programme of activities to mark 100th anniversary

First Division side St. Patrick FC launched a programme of activities to mark hundred years of football in Zabbar. Details were revealed by president Dr Josie Muscat and the chairman of the organising committee Alfred Portelli during a press conference which were held at the club’s premises on Wednesday.

The St. Patrick Club was initially a social club and only after World War II, in 1948, the club turned itself into a football club – St. Patrick Football Club.

Dr Muscat explained that the premises used to host the various Zabbar teams throughout the years namely Zabbar Hompesch, Zabbar United, Zabbar Youngters, Zabbar Amateurs and Zabbar FC.

Although the proper origins of the name St. Patrick are not known, it is believed that Irish army soldiers stationed in Corradino influenced people from Zabbar to name the football team for their patron saint.

To celebrate this hundredth anniversary, the club and the organising committee, led by former president Alfred Portelli, prepared a programme of activities which will be held throughout the year. For the time being, only the activities for the first three months of the year have been revealed. Other events which will be held later this year include a concert by a leading local group.

The main event will be a get together for former players, coaches and presidents which will be held on St. Patrick’s Day – Saturday 17th March. Former players are invited to contact a member of the organising committee Felix Vella (tel no. 9987 6219) in order to receive a formal invitation.

On Sunday 18th, a thanksgiving mass will be held and a commemorative plaque will be unveiled at the club premises. The plaque will carry the names of the club’s presidents since when the club changed its name to St. Patrick FC.

For this occasion, the club produced a commemorative badge and is planning to launch two shirts: one with yellow and black horizontal stripes – used by St. Patrick FC in their first promotion to the First Division in 1950/51 – and another one with white and black quarters – which was used by Zabbar United. These two shirts could possibly be the team’s shirts for the coming season.

The chairman of the organising committee Alfred Portelli, who was a former president of the club leading St. Patrick to three consecutive promotions and a place in the semi-finals of the FA Trophy, spoke in detail about the other activities and initiatives being taken.

Activities for January include the launching of the 2012 calendar carrying historic photos which was published thanks to Dr Josie Muscat, Manuel Schembri, Lawrence Bugelli and Manuel Gauci; a match for former players and a one-hour programme on Radju Hompesch about the history of football in Zabbar.

In February, a drawing competition will be held for children attending the Zabbar primary schools. The main theme will be football, the colours yellow and black and the anniversary. A 5-a-side football tournament will be held for clubs and organisations in Zabbar. The club will launch merchandise to mark the hundredth anniversary. A dinner will be held on February 17th.

Between the 1st and 18th March, an exhibition will be held at the Local Council’s hall. For this exhibition, anyone who is interested in providing or lending material to be put on display is asked to contact the club secretary. Meanwhile another match for veteran players will be held in March, besides the get-together, the mass and unveiling of the commemorative plaque.

Every month, the St. Patrick Nursery, which was founded in 1988, will be holding a special activity as part of this programme of activities.

The club also plans to publish a book with the history of the club.

Activities are being held with the collaboration of the Zabbar Local Council.