Beer Albion’s centenary celebrations

Beer Albion Football Club 1919-20; (Back row, left to right) Arthur Westlake, Alan White, Arthur Co

Beer Albion Football Club 1919-20; (Back row, left to right) Arthur Westlake, Alan White, Arthur Collier, Peter White (Capt), Harry Miles, WR David; (Middle row) Tommy Driver, Rob Rowe, Laurie White, Charlie Perkins, Jack Perkins (Front row) Jack Northcott, Norman Satterley and Will Collier. Picture: RICHARD HONNOR - Credit: Archant

Two years ago feels like a hundred after the turbulence we have all endured through the Covid pandemic.  
For Beer Albion Football Club, 2020 should have been the celebratory beginning of a new century in their proud history.  
While a global crisis put paid to festivities, or football, of any kind, it is worth remembering a wonderful day at Furzebrake in the summer of 2019, when Albion heralded a century of the beautiful game. 
Axminster Town were invited to come along for a one-off game, as the Tigers and Beer had actually met in the very first final of the Morrison Bell Cup in 1920, Albion’s inaugural season. 
The Morrison Bell Cup was donated to East Devon football by Sir Clive Morrison Bell, a distinguished military services officer who became MP for Honiton after the First World War. 
Born in 1871, Bell was the son of a baronet and was educated at Eton and the Royal Military College of Sandhusrt. 
He served in the Boer War and was promoted to Major in 1908. He actually retired from the Army before rejoining at the start of the Great War, where he was captured in 1915. 
Back to the centenary, and wonderful summer sunshine greeted a crowd of 300 at Furzebrake and a fabulous family occasion to celebrate a special achievement for the Fishermen. 
As well as children from the village taking on the role of mascots, dignitaries from the Devon FA and Devon & Exeter League were in attendance, as well as the chairmen from local rivals Seaton Town and Colyton. 
Special plaques were presented to the club by Paul Morrison on behalf of the Devon County Football Association and by Tom Sampson for the national Football Association. 
The main event of the afternoon was the match and Beer were looking to overturn the 1-0 defeat from 100 years previous. 
Unfortunately, Axminster had failed to read the script, eventually running out as comfortable winners but still a fabulous day. 
While the first two years of Beer’s second century have been difficult for everyone, let’s hope the next 98 are as happy as the first 100.  

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