Come home, Boys' Town - Fans call for Red Brigade's return to Collie Smith drive
The temporary abandonment of Collie Smith Drive Sporting Complex by Boys' Town Football Club is not only affecting the team’s performance in the Red Stripe Premier League, but also members of the Trench Town community, who look to their football team to boost the morale of the community.
Sitting in Trench Town’s Culture Yard, where Reggae legend, Bob Marley wrote many of his hit songs, a number of longtime supporters of the Red Brigade said their team playing away from home for the last two seasons has dwindled the economic activities in the community and may even be providing an avenue to increase crime in the area.
“The whole community wants Boys' Town come home come play match. That brings a more business productivity on a Sunday.
Is not just the football club earn, a lot of business people earn on Sundays. The vendors dem can sell banana chips, and Juice, Cane and peanut at these games,” Omar Barrett said.
Former player and lifelong supporter, Clifford ‘Ferdie’ Bent, who many of his colleagues dubbed the most loyal Red Brigade supporter, told Star Sports that it makes no economic sense for vendors to Journey to Barbican, Where Boy’s Town currently play their home matches.
“To rent a taxi to carry your goods to Barbican and pay to go in [the venue] , the vendors dem start lose already plus the crowd that would be here is not there," Bent explained, while he pulled on his Chalice pipe. “Most of those vendors live in the community where they can just put some drinks in an igloo and just go to the match.”
He said: "Mi go almost all of the games and nobody nuh up a Barbican, You can count about 10 fans in the stands."
Barrett, a 30-year-old who also describes himself as a lifelong supporter, remembered the days when Sunday evening football brought the entire community together, dressed in their 'sunday best'."
From 1p.m.everybody clean inna dem clothes and ready," Barrett recalled. "People from all over the community gather together, from Action, Buckas all over."
This, he said, reduce the chances of youngsters in the community engaging in criminal activities.
“Right now the youngsters in the community are idle on a Sunday and when Boy’s Town used to play at home at least you know that their time would be occupied when they are at the match,” Barrett said.
The supporters said that they are calling on their member of parliament, Mark Golding, to intervene as his constituents are directly affected by what is happening at the club. “We are a part of his constituency too. So if him can come in and help we get back our home games, he should,” Barrett said.
Late last week, Golding told The Gleaner that Boys’ Town is an important organisation in the constituency hence why he has taken up an invitation to attend meetings with regards to renovation of the facility.
Going into yesterday's round of games, Boys' Town were rooted at the bottom of the table with just two wins from 20 games.