Monday, September 16, 2013

My childhood years

Team mascot/ball-boy in 1957

Back in the 1950s, I was introduced to soccer, or what we call in Malta, football. Even though everyone played football, it was only in the 1960s that I played some real football, and especially in my Seminary years in the early 1970s. But as a child I was chosen as a ball-boy for the local St Julian’s Catholic Action soccer team. I was actually called the ‘mascot’ and my job was simply to carry the ball, pose for a team photo, and then sit down and watch the game. 
St Julian's Catholic Action team in 1957

I was very honored and proud to be chosen as the team’s mascot, especially since half of the team were relatives, among them two uncles and two cousins. The team was pretty successful and many of the players became regular players on other well-known teams. There was a sense of camaraderie among all the players and other members of the Catholic Action club that met for regular meetings, religious talks, hikes, special Masses and the annual celebration in honor of Saint Anthony, our patron saint. This was even enhanced by the presence of our spiritual director and chaplain, Fr Anton Xiberras, who dedicated his life to these young people.

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