Sport was everywhere on Gan. It was played every day, usually after finish work at 1300 hrs up until it started to get dark around 1800 hrs, and even then we had floodlit 5-a-side which went on mid to late evening. They had leagues for all the major sports (and some not so major). Football, Five-a-side, Volleyball, Golf, Cricket, Basketball, etc.
You name it, it was probably played on Gan. Every section entered teams into all the sporting events just for the hell of it. It wasn't the winning in those days, just the taking part.
There was even a round the island bicycle race called appropriately "The Tour de Gan". The bikes were not super dooper multi geared racing bikes with custom made streamlined biking suits, but your "Bog Standard" RAF issue bike with the rider in shorts/trunks, flip flops or pumps. They were hard work at the best of times. No gears or anything fancy like that. Just lots of strength and stamina, but by God, it was fun for everyone taking part!
Dhoni races were another strenuous but fun activity. Each section entered a crew and it was hard work, but enjoyed by all and it made a great day out for all involved. Loads of blokes cheering on their team and more than likely a bottle of beer in their hand!
Anything I've forgotten let me know.
Siggies football team above. L to R.
Back row - Me, Ralph Hodgson, n/k, n/k, Taff, n/k, n/k.
Front row - n/k, n/k, Kenny Borrett, Rod Matheson, Bob Newell
If any of you out there can remember any of the other lads names etc. Give me a shout and I'll put them in.
Some days we had two or more games a day. Looking back it was constant. To think that todays so called "Professional footballers" think they are hard done by if they have two games a week!
If you have any photos or comments regarding sport (or any other subject) in Gan, drop me a line.
Above is the after the match refreshment. A nice cold beer. Mmmmm! Nothing like it after a game of football in 90c heat.
Bob Newell, Paddy Byrne and me. Three members of the Siggies football team. I think this shot was taken just after we'd got back from a game.
The football pitch as it was. Not a very good shot. But at least it was a good grass pitch. If anyone else has got any sports shots etc. let me have them and I'll put them on here.
I think the above and below photos are the SASF team. I may be wrong, can anyone help me out as to who they are?
Above is the local Adduan football team who used to play matches against the different sections on the island.
Gan Island Golf Club was well used and was an excellent course, considering that the island was as flat as the proverbial. Originally started as a 9 hole course and then over the years expanded to 18. It was well patronised and the membership was brilliant to say that the RAF population was around 600 blokes.
Below is Gerry Keenan, who was known to play a little golf. Also Below Bob Newells club and handicap cards.
Volleyball was another sport that was played with a passion on the island. Every day it was played, probably straight after one of the other sports. After a short rest it was "up and at em" again. Looking back it was constant. But that was what made the days so enjoyable for most of us.
Cricket was played throughout the year except when it was six inches deep in water as shown. We still used the pitch even then just to mess about on. Then "Out for a duck" took on a whole new meaning!!
Below are some of the lads from the RAF Gan basketball team. They used to play against visiting Royal Navy ships that called in on a regular basis. They also used to travel to the Far East and back to the UK for matches and tournaments. Can any of you put names to faces?