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The origins of Marsaxlokk FC

Marsaxlokk White Stars in 1953, one of the first teams to represent the southern fishing village in Malta FA competitions.

Marsaxlokk White Stars in 1953, one of the first teams to represent the southern fishing village in Malta FA competitions.

In 1935, a group of individuals from Marsaxlokk decided to form a football team. Way back in 1894, there were already two teams based in Marsaxlokk, Delimara Wanderers and Tas-Silċ Rovers, but these were probably formed by service personnel stationed here.

Therefore, the 1935 team could be taken as the first real attempt to set up a team in this peaceful fishing locality down south.

Memories of the 1894 teams were probably still alive in the 1930s because the new team was named Delimara Rangers.

Joseph Grech, when writing about this team on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Marsaxlokk FC, stated that the side was formed of Karm Caruana, Gaetan Gafa, Mikiel Zahra, Manuel Gafa and his brother Ġużeppi, Karm Schiavone, Peppinu Cassar, Karm Bugeja and Spiru Attard.

Facilities were scarce. At times, they even had to borrow a ball from the Servicemen at the local RAF Station. The lads, however, did not give up. They found an abandoned field which, years after, was transformed into an RAF hanger as well as their training ground.

This team, however, did not last long. Some friendly matches were played but the outbreak of the Second World War stopped their activities short. At the end of the war, other attempts were made to form a team but these failed to gain momentum until 1949, that is, when the forerunners of the present Marsaxlokk FC were formed.

Marsaxlokk White Stars were founded on November 3, 1949.

As Grech recounts so well in his account, the first committee meeting of the new club was held at the stables of Karm Cassar.

The first committee was formed as follows: Pawlu Incorvaja (president); Turu Paris (vice president); Joseph Grech (secretary); Joseph Schiavone (assistant secretary); Spiru Cassar (treasurer); Karm Caruana (assistant treasurer) and Frans Paris, Karm Carabott, Mabbli Vella and Emman Darmanin (members).

The White Stars played their first friendly against Little Rainbows on Nov. 11, 1949. The team from Marsaxlokk won 3-1.

Other matches followed until 1953-54 when Marsaxlokk took part in the Amateur Cup organised by the Malta FA.

Marsaxlokk played their first match in the competition on March 29, 1953, losing 0-4 to Sliema Shamrocks.

The next season, they beat Mellieħa FC before losing 4-1 to Melita in the semi-finals.

In 1955-56, Marsaxlokk White Stars applied successfully to take part in the Third Division but after only one year they were relegated and lost their league status.

This was followed by a difficult period for the team from Marsaxlokk. Interest hit rock bottom and for the next 10 years the team only survived by taking part in amateur competitions.

Then, in 1965, Marsaxlokk dropped the prefix White Stars from their name and re-applied to take part in the MFA League. Their application was accepted and that season they took part in the Third Division.

In that important year, the club was managed by F.X. Vella (president), Joe Baldacchino (secretary) and Joe Grech (treasurer).

The rest of their story was one of ups and downs. For many years the club alternated between the Third and Second Divisions.

Then, Victor Sciriha took over the reins and from then on Marsaxlokk never looked back.

Under his presidency, Marsaxlokk FC not only reached the Premier League but were also crowned champions of Malta in 2006-07.

It was a fairytale story which does credit not only to this modest club but to Sciriha himself.

It was definitely a great feat to transform a small and unfashionable outfit into one of the leading clubs on the island in just a few years.

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