For Auld Lang Syne
Whether a soccer fan or not, one cannot help but swell with pride in perusing the glowing tributes typed to the passing of the great Bethlehem soccer team. Long did it live and in the twenty some years of campaigning it established itself in the hearts of soccer fans as no other club has ever been established and probably no other club ever will. Bethlehem stood for everything that was good and clean in sport, a team that could invade strange lairs to the overwhelming plaudits of the fans and always be received with kindred spirit. The blow of the loss to the team has not alone fallen here. In fit, it seems now that Bethlehem was far more appreciated away from home than the moral encouragement and support bestowed upon it by the home town sportsmen with the exception of that loyal band, hardly more than a corporal’s guard, who were unfailing in their encouragement and support. Perusing the recent issue of the “Soccer Star,” a weekly publication devoted exclusively to this sport, one reads the following tribute, expressing sentiment prevailing wherever the Bethlehem team has played: “What is the use – to what avail are regrets, a peculiar feeling in the heart of the genuine fan to what end the ranting against a fat which has obliterated forever one of the finest elevens in the history of the game in this country. Bethlehem is no more! That’s a plain fact, that’s an irrevocable catastrophe which fills one with a depressing mood, with a sentimentality that has nothing to do with other considerations. That wonder team, consisting of players whose names are so closely linked with achievements, with clean playing, with reputation – that wonder team will never again be seen in league competition in this country. Archie Stark, Dick, Fraser, McGregor – all of them and their comrades – gone, separate, like chaff that is blown into the corners of the earth by the wind. The fans, no matter to whom their allegiance belonged, were always for Bethlehem – win or lose. Bethlehem had earned the respect of the fans, by their sportsmanlike behavior on and off the field. The sports writers – most of us, who are personal friends of many of the players must shed a furtive tear, because to us, Bethlehem has stood for more than a soccer team. TO us, the Bethlehem eleven has been the model of a team as it should be, the model of a team, representative of American soccer, representative of the highest ideals of American football. Bethlehem is no more! May the spirit of the team live in the players, most of whom we hope to see in the ranks of other teams.”
Passing of Pioneers
With the passing of the Bethlehem soccer team goes another pioneer of the sport, Thomas W. Cahill, who at the close of the current season will no longer be a candidate for secretary of the United States Football Association. Soccer was Cahill’s hobby and 42 years of his eventful life were given to the development of the sport in this country. His path was by no means strewn with roses for in the early days the byways and turns were many and it was not until Bethlehem entered the field that the course was straightened. With the influence of the Bethlehem team Cahill succeeded in making deep inroads in the outlaw faction that controlled this sport and partly through his efforts was the U. S. F. A. created. For fifteen years he devoted his time to the national body in an executive capacity.