Avengers, 1976, Football team from San Ignacio and Santa Elena
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Avengers, 1976, Football team from San Ignacio and Santa Elena

How many young people of San Ignacio and Santa Elena, (under 40 years old) know that we once had the best football teams in Belize? The mighty Avengers are Belizean football legends.

Well starting in the 1950's, we had the invincible WD ELEVEN, that defeated the best from Peten, from the Districts, and even Selection from Guatemala City, for the President Castillo Armas Trophy, and to crown it all, defeated the HOLYWOOD TEAM, Champion of the Caribbean.

Then came the ROCKING R. that was a match to any team in and outside Belize Country.

Then came the MIGHTY AVENGERS, Champion of Champions that were ready to defeat any in site. So I made arrangements to take them to Honduras, where they left a good name, In fact EIGHT of our Avengers players were classified as material for Professional Players. If I remember this was taken at MCC field. I believe Polo Waight was then coach/ manager.

Bottom L to R.....Earl Haylick, Edgar Frutos, Nayo Waight, Culebra Neal, George Wagner, Turo Azueta, David Smith, Too Lennon. Top R to L. Tony Wagner, Pappy Smith, Leagues, Speedy Henry, Lazio Martinez ( Police), Vargas, Timba, Lloyd Smith, Pillis Neal, Lazio Martinez.

Photograph courtesy Hector Silva

The history of the Cayo Avengers

The Mighty Avengers of San Ignacio Cayo. A magnificent football team during its era from 1967-1979.

A great football team, one of the best, that has left an indelible mark on our communities of San Ignacio and Santa Elena and by extension Belize .The avengers were praised for the games they played and for making Cayo standout when it came to sports in that era .The Mighty Avengers team players were (Gerald "speedy"Henry,Cristino 'Maya" Ortega,Albert "pappy" Smith,Daniel "Nayo' Waight,Samuel 'Pilis" Neal,Theodore 'bones' lennan and Raymond "steela" Garbut) the team was always “very fit and very disciplined,” and was so popular that crowds even flocked to their workouts on weekdays; prompting the club management to suggest to the then Town Council foreman of many years, Mr. Norman Broaster, to try and get the football field fenced, so the club could earn funds from its weekend games. Thus, when his efforts came to fruition, it was agreed by all to name it the Norman Broaster Stadium.In the mid ‘70’s Santa Elena and San Ignacio couldn’t see eye to eye. One could not pass the bridge without being menaced by the other side. That year, Avengers brought out its first long sleeve set of white uniforms with the logo of the Hawksworth Bridge printed on them and a capital ‘A’ as the mid-support suspension of the bridge. This logo was powerful, suggesting connectivity, accessibility, commonality, support and unity, the effects of which possibly played a great role in getting the twin towns together again.Avengers had re-united the twin towns.

.Albert “Pappy” Smith was proclaimed as the best football player ever seen in this country.The Mighty Avengers were the first football team in Belize to be honored with a hall of fame recognition.

HALL OF FAME – Gerald “Speedy” Henry; Cristino Jorge “Maya” Ortega; Albert “Pappy” Smith; Daniel “Nayo” Waight; Samuel “Pilis” Neal (D); Theodore “Bones” Lennan; Raymond “Steela” Garbutt.“MIGHTY AVENGERS FOOTBALL CLUB” :-

Lifetime Members, Fans & Supporters – Daniel Gutierrez (D); Theodore “Flash” Waight (D); Lloyd Awe; Luis “Bunny” Gongora; George Flowers (D); Evan X Hyde; Michael Finnegan; Ernesto “Chief” Azueta.

Lifetime Members of Management – Eric Fairweather; David Cruz; Alwyn Smith; Jaime “Canche” Zetina; Hermilio Zetina; Jalil Bedran (D); George Haylock, Sr. (D).

Lifetime Members – Rodney Neal; Gabriel “Gabe” Roches; Victor “Ba” August (D); Elias Juan; Stanley “Timba” Robinson; Calbert “Culebra” Neal (D); Earl Haylock (D); David Smith; Timothy “Timmy” Bedran (D); Michael “Teddy” Recinos; Arturo “Turo” Azueta; Hilbert Linares.

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