Keane Crosskill Football Festival



The annual Keane/Crosskill football festival between Jamaica College and Calabar High School will be held on Sunday, August 28, 2016, at the Barbican playfield in Kingston. This is the final preparation match for both schools’ Manning Cup teams but according to competition organizers, this year’s coompetition is being pitched as a football festival for the entire family.  

Mr David Miller, President of the Calabar Old Boys Association says this year’s tournament was moved to the Barbican playfield in order to make the event more family friendly. “Hugh Crosskill and Basil Keane touched so many lives that we wanted to celebrate their memories by opening up the tournament to the entire family and not just the die-hard football or JC or Calabar fan. Traditionally, the games are played at either school but Barbican offers a number of benefits such as a spectator stand and other amenities so we decided to move the event there.”

The tournament will see 4 games being played; the Under 14, Under 16, Manning Cup and the always entertaining, Old Boys and Celebrity match up. Mr Ian Forbes, vice president of the JC Old Boys Association and competition organizer said his Old Boys are extremely excited at the prospect of getting one over their rivals. “A number of Old Boys have been calling from overseas to reserve their spots on the team because this is the one chance they get each year to show Calabar a thing or two about football” he joked.

After defeating all comers at Boys Champs in April this year, Calabar themselves would love to show that they are a force on the football field as well, and are also recruiting some of their Manning Cup standouts from years gone by. “We remember what happened in April” says Keith White, past Old Boys president at Calabar, “and we want to send a message to the JC fraternity that we can not only run fast, but we can also play great football”.

Both the JC Manning Cup and Old Boys teams will be managed by National coach Miguel Coley while Calabar’s teams will be coached by Lijyasu Simms. Both coaches have high expectations for their teams but according to Simms, he will need to remind himself that some of the old boys are well past their prime. “I will try to remember come Sunday, that these are “Old” men we are dealing with here and try not to push them too hard. But make no mistake, we are coming for the trophy”.        

Some of the old boys who are expected to play on Sunday are, for JC, former National players and Manning Cup standouts Andre Virtue, Donald Stewart, Kirk Kennedy and the evergreen Ian Gage, as well as private sector mavens Stephen Dawkins of Wisynco, and Chris Williams of Proven Investments, among others. On Calabar’s part, they have invited former Manning Cup greats Robert “Doigy” Redds and Geddes Alexander as well as national hurdler Maurice Wignall, and Xavier “Flexx” Davidson formerly of dancehall group TOK. Old Boys from both schools who would like to play on Sunday are encouraged to contact the respective Old Boys Associations for information as only a few playing spots are left.

Major Basil Jarrett, president of the JC Old Boys says the Keane Crosskill Tournament is a fitting tribute to two giants at JC and Calabar, and thanks sponsors Digicel, Hi-Lyte and JMMB for making it possible this year. The games begin at 11 am on Sunday, with the final match between the flagship Manning Cup Teams expected to bring the curtains down at 5pm.   

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