Old-Timers Football ‘Constituency’ Gaining Ground

Former Cedar United FC star, Timothy S. Lawal, in a beautiful drive through move, captured by ace cameraman Mozart Dennis, recently

He was a member of Liberia’s proverbial ‘Show Boys’, Cedar United FC, sponsored by the Lebanese community many years ago.

Cedar United FC produced some of Liberia’s talented soccer players. The players included Liberia’s midfield maestro Mark Gibson, striker Timothy S. Lawal and of many others.

Mark Gibson at the center of the national soccer team against any of the West African giants meant that Liberian fans would have a lot of entertainment.

Timothy Lawal was also one player who held himself against his opponents and, if the reader wants evidence, Lawal, now an old timer, plays soccer to ensure that he is physically ready for the next day’s work.

Note that old-timers’ football has grown like weeds across Monrovia. In fact, there is the Liberia Old Timers National Association (LONA) that organizes regular leagues for retired footballers, where President George Weah is seen every week in action.

At the old-timer games, it has become customary for the former players, many of them now in top government positions, to use the venue to discuss national issues.

Many of them appreciate how far football has gained respect as President Weah leads the campaign to popularize the sector, as the sector gains support in the country.

“We meet to talk about the old days and how we can encourage each other,” an old player, told the Daily Observer. “At least that is where we belong.”

He said their participation in old-timer football shows they have not forgotten about where they have come from as professionals.

“It is a constituent for all of us who play football,” admitted former NPA Anchors goal-hunter Jonathan Armah Baxter. “We care for each other and to remind the young people that the retired players are always together as one.”

Baxter, who serves as director of sports at APM Terminals, has led a vanguard to ensure that sports is part of his company’s protocols and it has been working because a senior manager at APM Terminals believes his passion.

As old-timer football gains more acceptance, many say they expect other sports (kickball, athletics, basketball table tennis, among others) to follow suit and to develop a community that could provide an advocate for the development of their former disciplines to benefit the young people today.

This is because active older and younger generations together could mean increased productivity and healthy lifestyle for the country, pushing away preventable diseases and improving longevity in the communities that are passionate about them.


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