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MIGHTY BARROLLE EMERGES

(Culled from  X-Ray Magazine, June, 1986 Monrovia)

By Arthur Wisseh

Founding  Player

 

 

Posted July 28, 2008

 

 

Immediately following the first national county meet, which was held in mid January 1954, the officials and players of the then Grand Bassa County team, headed by Willie G. Cooper, the then Bassa Governor, decided to organize themselves into a football club. Hence the Gbehzon Impregnable Eleven (GIE) was brought into being.

Players of the first GIE team included James P. Bestman (Captain), David Wollow,  Borbor Gibson, Robert James, Alfred Thompson, Richard Brown (deceased), frank George, J. Hilary Mason, Borbor Frank and Lewis Bryant (deceased.) Gbehzon, which is the indigenous name for Buchanan City (the capital of Grand Bassa County), played several games with well-established teams like Connection, Youth leaders, Jet, IE, and Bame.

Ma Sundaeway              

-Mother of Barrole

 

As time went on more young players developed admiration for Gbehzon joined it. This was mainly promoted by continued good performance of the Gbehzon boys, as they were popularly called. The result of this was that between 1954 and 1956, there were generally more star players attracted into the team than it could absorb. S as an offshoot, GIE was divided into a senior team, GIE and a junior team, Jabokay.

However the name Jabokay remained unattractive to many football fans, and so it was decided to have it changed into something else. Because the officials of the two teams could not come to comprise over the suggested names, it was at last decided to use the name of Jimmy Barrolle for the junior team, Jabokay. Hence the name Barrolle Impregnable Eleven came into being. (Jimmy Barrolle was then Butler to the President of Liberia, William V. S. Tubman.)

One aspect of football competitions in those days that I can very well remember is that Gbehzon found it difficult to defeat IE. It was after a humiliating defeat of 7-1 that GIE suffered from IE that the sports officials found it expedient to dissolve GIE and reinforced the morale of the junior team and promoted it to senior level team to replace Gbehzon GIE. 

Barrolle made its first official appearance into the LFA league against Olympics, one of the oldest teams of the time, in November 1956 with 2-0 victory. The first Barrolle team comprised of George Pennoh, Wellington Phillips (Captain), Harry Williams, Joseph Gittens, Nathan Nelson, Arthur Wisseh, Samuel Kummy, among others.

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