Cup success for St Aloysius as Islington & Camden honour stalwart of schools’ football

Aron Appiah shows off the Corrigan Shield

Aron Appiah shows off the Corrigan Shield - Credit: Archant

Kristian Mickeli’s second-half hat-trick completed a dramatic turnaround as St Aloysius’ College secured the Islington & Camden Schools’ Year 8 Corrigan Shield with a 5-2 win over Highbury Grove.

Highbury Grove looked set to claim the silverware as they opened up a 2-0 half-time lead in the final – but St Aloysius fought back to score five times without reply after the break.

Trae Coyle was the architect of their recovery, creating several chances, while Mickeli’s sharpness in front of goal ensured that St Aloysius sealed their second trophy of the day.

The first of those came from their Year 7 team, who were also forced to work hard before eventually overcoming their Highbury Grove opponents 5-1 in the Ritchie Cup final.

The teams were locked at 1-1 in a closely-contested game before man of the match Denzel Olopade and Jayden O’Neill both found the net and from then on St Aloysius ran out comfortable winners.

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However, it was a different story in the Year 9 and Year 11 finals – both of which finished without a goal being scored for the first time in district history.

St Aloysius and Haverstock shared the Year 9 Louis Lewis Shield after their 0-0 draw, while honours were also even in the Year 11 Mitre Trophy after another scoreless encounter between Holloway and St Mary Magdelene.

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Following the finals, members of the district schools’ committee gathered to dedicate a bench overlooking the St Aloysius playing fields in memory of the late Bill Bailey MBE.

Bailey, who passed away four years ago at the age of 90, grew up in Islington and took over as secretary of the borough’s schools FA in 1955, playing an instrumental role in the organisation for the next half-century.

During that time, he organised countless schools’ matches, also serving as district treasurer, and spotting many talented youngsters who would go on to play at the highest level, such as Arsenal Double winner Charlie George.

The dedication was attended by Bailey’s widow Win, as well as current district chairman Mick Youssouf, vice-chairman Terry Howard and his wife Sandra.

Jim de Garis, who manages the Islington & Camden Under-15 team, said: “Bill was a gentleman and a legend. He never moaned or complained, he basically just made football happen in Islington.

“Win was his sidekick, with him all the way, and it was lovely to have her and all the committee there. Our thanks to all those who kindly made donations towards the bench and the inscription.

“Schoolboy football was such a big part of Bill’s life and the bench is in a spot where he’d have loved to be, overlooking the pitch where the district teams play their home matches.”

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