2014 ANZAC Day International football match report

ANZAC DAY INTERNATIONAL – THAILAND TIGERS V ISLAMABAD MAKHORS For nine years the Quiet Lion Tours have attended the ANZAC Day International football match arranged by the Australian ex-pats in Thailand. Each year a visiting team from a variety of far-eastern countries provides the other side. The emphasis each year is on the memory of the prisoners of war who worked on the Burma Thailand Railway and the guests of honour are surviving prisoners of war. On Saturday 26 April 2014, players, support staff and helpers of the Thailand Tigers Football Club, converged on for the greatest weekend on the Tiger calendar. Starting with the ANZAC commemorative activities at Hellfire Pass and Kanchanaburi War Cemetery on the Friday Saturday featured two great games watched by former POWs Milton ‘Snow’ Fairclough and Neil MacPherson together with 37 other members of the Quiet LionTour. These two gentlemen had been to a number of previous ANZAC Day games, and it was once again an honour for all the teams to play in front of them as a way to show their support and appreciation. The Austraian Charg’e d’affeires Mr Jonathon Kenna represented the Australian Embassy and Mr Steven Reid the Military Attache. The curtain raiser saw a 9-a-side domestic match between reserve players and included some of the visiting Quiet Lion Tour party.. The main game pitted the Tigers against the Islamabad Makhors from Pakistan in their first international. Led by the irrepressible Marzio ‘Muzza’ Da Re, the Makhors were always going to struggle against the stronger Tigers. In true spirit, Tigers players helped out with numbers by slipping on the black and green guernsey – but when both sides stood in a line for the anthems in front of ex POWs Snow and Neil, they all felt like they were on the same team.         Final scores – Tigers 18.15 (117) Makhors 3.0 (18). In the post-match activities Tiger’s Chairman Brendan Cunningham acknowledged the continued support from the Quiet Lion Tour groups over a period of nine years. BTRMA Chairman Eric Wilson acknowledged the welcome and introduced BTRMA Vice Chairman Ian Holding who proceeded to present the ‘Chicken Smallhorn’ Award (see the separate story on this award) to “best on ground” Aggotts (selected by Snow Fairclough). Captain Paddy accepted the ANZAC Cup from Eric Wilson. Snow and Neil used eloquent words in summing up the feelings from both sides – it was much more than just a game of ‘footy’, and all should be commended for the spirit shown both on and off the field. It was a true club effort with everybody making a contribution – from the patience shown by the many Tigers who were only on the field for a quarter, to the many helpers off the field who made the day a memorable one for all. Photo of assembled group after the match (courtesy of Robert Brewer) The tradition will continue in 2015 when the ANZAC Day International football match will be held in the afternoon of ANZAC Day following the commemorative activities at Hellfire Pass and Kanchanaburi Cemetery and the post-match barbecue hosted by the Australian and New Zealand Governments.

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