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The World Team Championships playing for the Thomas Cup was inaugurated 70 years ago and as Ireland played in the very first match in the competition both the Gallery Item and the Historical Item feature aspect of this historic occasion.

In the article previewing the team’s prospects reference is made to The Strollers who were very influential in developing the game in Denmark. It is interesting to note that the match was scheduled for Copenhagen because of financial reasons. It was felt that spectators would be too limited if the match was played in Ireland. Knowing the appetite for big games in Ireland one wonders if this was a correct decision. Later reports suggest that the support of the Danish public was disappointing.

The notes included with the photograph give a good indication of the difficulties faced by the Irish team on this trip. Certainly, it was not conducive to the team performing at its best. It is good to see that Irelands only supporter is included in the photograph. It seems that Ken Woods was not involved in any official Badminton capacity. Colin Maidment travelled as Honorary Secretary of the Badminton Union of Ireland and he would have been very familiar with all the Irish players.

Participation in this new World event showed that Ireland continued to be in the forefront of the world game. Ireland played in the first ever International match and was a founder Member of the International Badminton Federation. Denmark won the Match convincingly on a 9-0 score line. It is interesting to note that Major John McCallum, President of the Badminton Union of Ireland was the referee for the event. One wonders if this was in deference to his strong connection with the Strollers. Frank Peard had the honour of playing in the very first match in this new World event and if he had won the toss would have hit the very first shuttle.

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Dick O’Rafferty


This Edition: 1st Of October 2018 | Next Edition 1st Of November 2018
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