When Garston Bankfield House Community Centre fundraiser in 1967, has decided to target major
Bankfield House was a community center in Garston, Merseyside. A job advertisement placed in The Guardian in 1974, defines its activities fairly well: "The center serves the community of Garston docks, a neighborhood with problems typical of an area of ??social deprivation," to read it. "The programs for adolescents, the elderly, mentally disabled, a group of preschool play, and there is broad participation in local community development."
Garston has not minimized the social deprivation. Bound for statistical purposes with neighboring Speke, remains one of the most deprived areas of Liverpool. Although there has been significant investment in recent years, the latest figures show that 30% of residents Speke Garston working age are unemployed, against a national average of 12.4%. Male life expectancy is 71.5, more than six years below the national average. Only 30.7% of students receive between A * and C in five or more GCSEs, including maths and English, compared to the national average of 53.4%. Speke Garston is worse than the average for Liverpool in the indicators of deprivation in health, education and unemployment. It is certainly the kind of place that could do with a decent community center, and Bankfield House had one (until the landowners, the Church of England, closed in 2007).
"pioneers probably sums up his story," said Brian Taylor, who was its director until its closure. "We have made every effort to do things differently in 1961 -. And it does not sound all that unique, but in those days there was nothing for kids to do during the summer - was launched Liverpool the first programs for children during school holidays. There are a number of years, but it was the first time. "
as a charity, Bankfield House was to raise funds to pay for the opportunity to its activities in 1967, Taylor organized a celebrity football match to be held in Holly Park - then the ground south of Liverpool FC and now the site of the South Station train ride. He quickly obtained the services of several recently retired players who lived in or played at least once in the city. Dave Hickson and Billy Bingham was among those who joined Manchester City assistant manager Malcolm Allison, has agreed to play, and the former Liverpool captain, Billy Liddell pledged to lead a team. However, Taylor concluded that if the game would attract a large crowd, which needed a great name. So he asked Pele.
"Pele was, of course, one of the best players in the world and was a little cheek to think about it," says Taylor. "But I wrote to the President of the club and a week later I received a reply, he said. " Dear Mr. Taylor, thank you for the great honor to invite our Edson Arantes do Nascimento for the charity match. Unfortunately, it is necessary for our program in the league AA .'"A 26
Pele was very at its peak, and play in a club - Santos, Sao Paulo, a state with a lot of their own problems of social exclusion to worry - it was time for several days Travel to Liverpool. It was a great question. Taylor Real Madrid has also telegraphed to ask if Ferenc Puskas, may be available. The Hungarian was still playing with some success in 40, after being one of the best scorers in the tournament as Madrid won the European Cup in 1966, and had no conceivable reason to get to help a community center Garston. A few days later, Taylor received his answer in the form of a telegram saying, "All I hope is that you send me a plane ticket." Ferenc Puskas, one of greatest footballers in the history of the game, the star and perhaps the best captain an international side of the story, three-time winner of the European Cup five times a finalist, was approaching the south of Liverpool FC. " / Aa>Taylor was at Heathrow to meet him in his flight, and the couple had lunch a little uncomfortable, while Iberian Airways stewardess translated. Then boarded a flight to Liverpool, where he was received by Liddell Puskas, deputy mayor and chair of Lord Liverpool airport, decorated with ribbons, champagne and implicitly proclaimed Airport Rd 500,000 customers. "The man who was once known as the most rampant seemed a little more gray than in the days when it was won 84 caps and help Real Madrid to monopolize the European club championship," the Liverpool Echo ", but like much in shape. "I have no special plans for training," he said. "I think keeping fit quite easily. I have no intention of retiring yet .'"
During the few days that Puskas was in town made a handful of public appearances. Dunlop gave him a car and driver in exchange for his visit to its plant in Speke (which closed in 1979). "He was very friendly," recalls Taylor. "The night before the game that entertained at dinner at the Adelphi Hotel. We had a college girl to join us to act as interpreter. Puskas said he wished he had brought back some memories of Real Madrid for the community center. The next day, when he left his car on the floor, he handed me a package, and the plot was full of badges and other memorabilia of the club. I could not believe was possible. But after the "d I left, which should be about midnight, had called the club. Has anyone done this plot up, put on a plane to London, where he was transferred to a flight to Liverpool, and was called to a car to take as soon as possible at the Adelphi. So I came with him in his hands and he delivered. "
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