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How Marsa Club Started

The Grounds Of Marsa

Marsa first Football Club was formed around April 1919 but football was at Marsa played much early this date, When the English come to Malta they soon started looking for a place to play their favourite game and because most English sport is played on grass Marsa was the obvious chose .

In Arabic Marsa means where ships can come in Port and in Marsa there is two sections they have a small & large section where ships come in and it's known as Kordin, at Marsa all fresh water is gathered there from many sections of the Island and this is why the English picked Marsa to be able to water the grass of the Sports Fields.

In March 1882 the Royal Engineers played and beat the Garrison 5- 0 this game is the first that we know that was played at Marsa , Slowly the game of Football started to come very popular and in 1891 they organised the first League and the Army Cup and the governor gave the Cup for this occasion and on 26 December in a historic meeting the fixture was picked for the first Competition in Malta.

All the games was played at Marsa between January & February in 1892 this competition was very successful and the league was played till 1909 and during this time there was a lot of competitions played in Malta the most known game was the game between the Army & the Navy they played for the Cup of the Malta Chronicle Cup.

During these days Marsa was very well known around the island it was known for it's size and because it was flat & green with grass , and in it there was a lot of grounds and in one day they use to play many games because of that thousands of people Maltese and English but for the Maltese they use to have to get permission to use the grounds.

The First Maltese Club that played at Marsa was the team of St Ignatius in February 1891 a team of students against a team from HMS Australia and the students won 2-0 but without hesitation the best game of Maltese teams was between St George and Floriana on the 13 May 1900 this game was a classic it was played in a very small section of Marsa called Lghammieri and the condition of the ground was very primitive no grass and mostly Mud there was no fencing to protect the players from the crowds and the goal posts where 2 poles but even with all these obstacles St George won the game and they took the Cup to Bormla Club and they where so happy because it was the most Prestigious Cup in the History of Maltese Football.

During 1909 and 1907 when the Maltese wanted to organise and have a solid base in this game of football and most of the problem was the lack of ground available for the Maltese and this problem was solved to a certain point and in October 1907 when the English authorities gave a small section of the Marsa grounds to the Students of Licco, The Ground of Licco as it was known was first used for the game between the students of the Eastern Telegraph Company.

After 3 season of football Marsa became the Mecca of Malta for Football during this time there was two competitions played between the Maltese youths and as everyone knows that most of the honours went to Floriana Football Club.

This competition became very successful but for some reason not known the season after the English withheld the permission and for that reason the competition did not continue and as a result the Football in Malta was at a complete standstill till 1911 when the Malta Athletic Club from Valletta was granted some land at Marsa and changed it to a Football Ground.

First Team Of Marsa

The First team of Marsa was formed in 1919 from the Centre of Neriku Azzopardi the team was names Marsa United and the first President was Mr Markiz Barbaro and the Secretary was Mr Joe Goggi, and Treasurer was Mr Gejtu Saliba.

The First Clubrooms was at Timber wharf in front of the old Pitkali in April 1919 Marsa United players it's first game against HMS Clements and the game finished a draw 1-1 then Marsa took part of the new League after the Great War and in that season they performed badly and finished second last , But when the competition of the Cousis Shield started they performed so well the nearly caused a sensation this happened by confronting Sliema Wanderers in a game of excitements and Marsa United was already 3-0 up at half time and they tough the cup was theirs already so they started celebrating at half time in the dressing rooms they drunk whisky and they where so happy but the whisky got to them when the game resumed and Sliema came out the winners 4-3.

The Hacca Season

the season after Marsa got the best player of Gejtu Psaila nicknamed Tal Hacca one of the best players that Malta ever produced then the team was better respected around the football circles and the team finished well that season in second position, the Colours of Marsa then was in stripes of red & white and because the players always gave their 100% they nicknamed them Scarlet Runners. looking at the following season
the team did not take part for that year during those days of the depression money was tight so it was not unusual for a team to just fold up.

In 1922-26 Marsa united took part of the second division and they went very well that they won the League but something strange with the success they had they where not promoted to the first Division during these days promotion was not Automatically but was decided by the MFA.

The following season was a bad and turbulence season for the club in March 1924 in a game against Gzira Lions a brawl took place during the game with the players involved and not even a score on the board and still the fighting went on as a result the Club was suspended by the MFA.

After two seasons and in 1926-27 the team was permitted back in the First Division Section B and unfortunately not much was published during this season but only that Marsa and Valletta finished with the same points where the decider was played against Valletta United at the Empire Sports Ground and Marsa come out winners with the score of 2-0.

This time Marsa United was promoted to the higher League but unfortunately the season after the club had a disastrous season that the club was finished they seize to exist after they dismantled the again because of disturbance from the crowd it seems that every time the crowd of Marsa get hot headed when they go support their football team again Marsa got kicked out by the MFA.

Marsa People had to wait for a few years before they could see any representation in Maltese Football again, But the spirit of sport was still running in the local vain so much so that their was many teams from Marsa taking part in different divisions like the team of Marsa Dragons that was operation in a local Drinking Pub in Marsa road but these teams had a short life span.

Berth Of Marsa F.C

In 1934 another team was born in Marsa and this team had a quite start but in time it developed to be the Team of Marsa of today the new team was seen the first time in the 9th September 1934 in a friendly game against Qormi St George and Marsa won this game with the score of 3-0 and it was seen by locals with a great potential because in the season of 1934-35 was excepted in the High Division in the Maltese League .

Marsa F.C made their first Competitive debut on the 14 October 1934 against Hibernians and lost with the score of 2-0 Marsa F.C only won 3 points in this season and again finished second last and for the Cup they where eliminated in the first round by losing 7-0 against the powerful Sliema team then during the war the club did not participate in any composition.

After the war the team of Marsa was formed again in 1947 it took place in the 3rd Division and it went better then expected and soon was heading the table, So much so that Marsa won the section B in 1952 and in a decider against Little Rainbows of Tarxien with Marsa finishing the Winners 1-0.

In the second Division Marsa had a very solid team and in the season of 1955 -56 they finished the champions but the success did not last very long because they where relegated back the following year and they only spend one year in this section.

In the season 1056-58 Marsa again they done the double they won the championship and the Cup and this time around Marsa recruited well and gave them stability and as a result the them performed very well with players like Freddy Steak Abela Ernest Glynn, Nenu Fabri and many others they kept their place playing for the senior team and in the season 1960-61 the team of Marsa was regarded as the best team in the second division and it took till 1969-70 that Marsa fc won promotion to the higher League under the Coach of John Calleja.

The Marsa Football Club finished winners in the second Division and also won the Cup in 1957-58 with Pawlu Fregieri, Coach Players C.Attard, F.Borg, A.Abela, E.Glynn, J.Dimech, C.Fabri, J.Cassar, J.Spiteri, Salvu Alamangu, P.Attard, J.Sciberras

Marsa took all the honours and won everything before them they stunned the opposition teams with their skill and ball control especially on the Son Of Malta Cup , then Marsa was back in the first division and again they stunned the opposition they caused a revulsion in that particular season they had class players like Joe Faqi Farrugia, Charlie Majsi Brincat, and to top it up with the brilliance of the brothers Victor & Joe Cassar,and other class players.

Marsa took the challenge of the bigger clubs like the prominent Hiberians ,Valletta , Floriana, and Sliema with very well planned formats and collective objections to overcome the fear to play the high fancy teams they done extremely well as a result they finished equal points with Sliema on top and in the decider Marsa played gallantly but lost 3-0 to Sliema at the Gzira Sports Stadium the Ground wa at full capacity it was the only defeat for the season and was so close to take the Championship.

Game against Juventus

The following season Marsa took part for the Cup of U.E.F.A. there was a lot of excitements in Malta when Marsa come against this famous team from Italy of Juventus and Juventus had 7 full internationals playing in the currant Italy squad one of them is Capello these last few years he was coach of Milan and Roberto Bettega. they also had Haller of Germany the game was played at the Gzira Ground on the 15th September 1971 the Referee was Peterson of Sweden it was really a memorable time for Marsa that also in that season they took part Tourney Cup during Christmas and played against Zeljenesnigar of Jugaslavia and in this game Marsa only lost it by 1-0 Marsa also played a friendly game a English team Wolverhampton Wanderers and in this game Marsa lost it by 6-1 but at half time the score was Marsa on top by 1-0 the goal was scored by Accarino.

In 1976 Marsa was still in the first division when then they where relegated to second division and they and remained there but done well to be promoted then the 1977-78 the MFA introduced the Premier
League Marsa was only there for 3 seasons and was relegated again.

Season 1983-84 another brawl took place against Sliema Wanderers where Sliema faced Marsa because they also got relegated and it was more of a grudge match for the season 1970-71 because they took the game of us as history repeat itself Marsa has a few hotheads as a result Marsa spoilt Sliema chance to get promoted by beating them 1-0 then Marsa was part of a pool for the promotion and the teams where Marsa , Sliema Tarxien Rainbows, Senglea Athletics, Marsa and Sliema was the better sides and they competed very well and it was very satisfying for Marsa to get Promoted again Sliema was also Promoted.

Marsa and the FA Trophy

In that memorable season Marsa went very well on the trail for the FA CUP even tough they have a first division side playing premier teams Marsa finished playing in the semi finals they started by defeating Gozo X1 side 2-1 then later on the 14 of March 1984 the big shock of the round when Marsa beat Valletta
7-6 on penalties with a result like that all Marsin had their head well High.

In the Quarter finals Marsa played against Melita FC they where also a first division side just like Marsa they game was played in very good spirit with some brilliant touches from both side but Marsa was the better side and was the winners by 2-1.

This famous run by Marsa finished up in the semi finals against a strong team of Zurrieq in those days Zurrieq was at their best and that is why they started as favourites to go to the next step and into the Final and that's what happened but not without a fight by the Red & Blues because they fought hard till the end and the score was still 0-0 till the last minute when Charlie Muscat scored for Zurrieq to end the dreams of many Marsin.

Two Slip ups after each other this time Marsa did not stay long in the Premier League under the coaching hands of Lolly Aquilina Marsa managed only one point and was relegated the only satisfying wa that Marsa took it's point against champion Rabat Ajax

Marsa Worst Years

In other parts Marsa rarely looked like taking any points from anyone due to the lack of quality players in defence and the forward line was not in the same class of their opponents as a result they scored only a few goals for the season but conceded an average of about 4 goals against them .
In the season of 1985-86 was more disastrous for the Club of Marsa not only did they consolidated their team for better results but the opposite happened they went the whole season without a win and finished last for that year and the periods from 1984 to 1986 was the worst ever for the club they had internal turmoils and lack of support from the locals.

In 1991-92 Marsa returned into the First division they took six season to get back and this was a bad period for the club and went into a faze without no movements and the supporters could not see the Club to former glory they gave up the fight for a this period but with Football anything is possible and as time went by they started to believe in getting where they belong and in seaso