Jeff Bailey – forerunner of our footballing excellence
Our Readers' Opinions
November 22, 2019
Jeff Bailey – forerunner of our footballing excellence

Editor: I was delighted with your news item following your interview with one of our stellar footballers of yesteryear, Mr Jeff Bailey (SEARCHLIGHT 08/11/19). What nostalgia!

Like many of my generation, I grew up as a fanatical “Dames” (Notre Dames) fan, and naturally one of Jeff as well. It is certainly the best local club team that I have ever seen play, but I cannot say it is the best of all time since I have not followed the teams of recent times and do not want to repeat the cardinal sin of many of us older folk in feeling that everything of our generation was the best ever.

Jeff reminded us of the epic battles between Dames and other major teams of the times. I was particularly struck by the battles against Geest, a team of waterfront workers, not remotely as talented as Dames, but, led by the phenomenal Lawrence ‘Babs’ Jones, yet they still managed to give an elite team like Dames real horrors.

Finally in tribute to Jeff himself, an expert dribbler and marksman, when one looks back you can only conclude that he was one of the earliest exponents of a professional approach to football. At a time when preparation never carried the significance of what it does today, Jeff was always prepared, practised relentlessly, was always early for games being among the first in warm-ups and shooting practice before the game, neatly attired (unlike some of his Notre Dame colleagues) with his gear in professional shape. The example that he and others like Joey Thompson, Adolphus ‘Pabits’ Davis and the late Duggie Cambridge gave, was well in advance of their time, where a professional approach to football was concerned. What a pity they came before the advent of proper facilities and opportunities!

Eternal admiration to you, Jeff Bailey and your generation, the forerunners of our football feats of our independence period! Time for our sporting HALL OF FAME!

Renwick Rose