On a dry but cold winter's morning on Sunday 28th December, exactly 40 years to the day that the Club was formed, a commemorative tournament was successfully staged at Princes Park, the home of TFFC's origins.

Seventeen players in total took part in the four-a-side event, selected into four teams kitted out in various Temple Fortune shirts. Meeting at 9.45am behind one of the Park tennis courts, the tournament started with a welcome introduction by Club Chairman Nigel Kyte which was as follows:

"There can be nothing more fitting to celebrate the Club’s 40th anniversary than to play football on the very pitch where it was formed. So this morning’s commemorative event here at Princes Park has enormous significance to the founders of Temple Fortune Football Club, and to Stephen and Brian Melzack who also played here during their boyhood. But more than that, it offers other Club Members the opportunity to share in a sense of history.

Peter and I are delighted to welcome all of you to this important location which was so instrumental in the Club’s formation. Here we kicked about amongst the trees for a number of years before founding the Club. I would like to welcome in particular the Melzack brothers who were a part of our earliest days. They lived opposite the Kyte family home which was No.1 Oakfields Road.

At stake for this fun tournament is the Jack Kyte Challenge Cup, a competition which has run since Jack’s passing in 2003. Many a time he would walk around this Park with his wife Ruth and their boxer dogs. Jack’s keeness for photography gave the Club a legacy which has played a big part in the TFFC history; his work can be seen throughout the website.

Thank you for being a part of the 40th anniversary of Temple Fortune Football Club. We sincerely hope you enjoy the occasion."

Nigel then briefly explained the pitch extremities and rules afterwhich the tournament kicked-off for real. At 10.10am, the first group game of six commenced amongst the trees, where a group of youngsters staged many a kickabout forty years previously, leading to the Club's formation. Soon into the first fixture, the Old Boys 'B' team opened the scoring on the leaf-covered sloping pitch against the Founders' team, the first goal of 48 to be converted in the group stage. Whilst the Founders' team lost all three of their games, the other three teams each won two games and drew on points. Therefore, the specified rule listing the order of qualifiers in the event of a tie determined that the First team lost out on a place in the Final.

With the sun shining brightly by this time, the Final pitched the Old Boys 'A' team against their 'B' team counterparts. In the last group game, the 'B's had surprisingly won 7-1 but the Final was a much closer affair. Rob Benson, guesting for the Old Boys 'B' team, gave his side an early lead which they held onto until the last couple of minutes when Yali Mamouri equalised from Lee Fegan's cross, the 50th goal of the morning!

The contest went to a thrilling penalty shoot-out in the 'higher' goal infront of one of the tennis courts. All eight kicks were scored before the Final went to sudden death. Yali Mamouri squeezed the ball past Phil Small to make it 5-4 to the Old Boys 'A' team, followed by Lee Fegan, who had very nearly saved two previous penalties, diving to his left to keep out Rob Benson's spot kick.

So the Old Boys 'A' team jubiliantly celebrated a hard-fought victory in an entertaining and keenly contested tournament. After a bottle of champagne had been opened and everyone had toasted the Club's 40th anniversary, Nick Waitsman, the Club's Vice-Chairman, presented commemorative plaques to each participant, before handing the Jack Kyte Challenge Cup to victorious Old Boys 'A' skipper Lee Fegan.

Yali Mamouri, recently back from his homeland Morocco, knotched 11 goals in the tournament (including one tremendous overhead kick on the volley), with Rob Benson finishing second top scorer on 10. John Fisher, Daniel Natoff and Andy Montlake were other hat-trick scorers. Apart from one heavy foul on Phil Small by Yali, Brian Melzack was the only player to suffer a worrying injury when an accidental collision with team-mate Peter Kyte left him with a bloodied nose (fortunately bruised and not broken). Other than a brief spat between recent new dad Andy Souber and Phil Small (which ended in handshakes, of course), the tournament was played in a commendably sporting spirit and enjoyed by all.

Said organiser Nigel Kyte afterwards: "Without doubt, being back at Princes Park, where many an embryonic game was played on this very pitch in the mid- to late-sixties, was the only fitting way to celebrate this incredible milestone. I would like to thank all the competing players for making the effort to attend this special commemorative event. Also Jonathan Davidoff and Nick Waitsman who braved the cold to watch it, Mike Shorvon for assisting me with the organisation and my brother Peter and his son Bennie for taking the photos. Altogether it was very enjoyable... see you all at Princes Park in ten years time!"

Old Boys 'A' team (red & yellow striped shirts) – winners
Lee Fegan, Yali Mamouri, Andy Souber and Gideon Wetrin
Old Boys 'B' team (yellow shirts) – runners-up
Rob Benson, Andy Montlake, James Ryan and Phil Small
First team (green shirts) – third
Jonathan Cohen, Jon Fisher, Daniel Natoff and Ollie Squires
Founders' team (green & white striped shirts) – fourth
Bennie Kyte, Peter Kyte, Brian Melzack and Stephen Melzack
Additional player: Graham Meyer

GROUP GAMES (all 10 minutes)
Old Boys 'B' team 8 (A.Montlake 3, R.Benson 2, P.Small 2, J.Ryan); Founders' team 3 (P.Kyte 2, S.Melzack)
Old Boys 'A' team 6 (Y.Mamouri 5, G.Wetrin); First team 1 (J.Fisher)
Old Boys 'A' team 4 (Y.Mamouri 4); Founders' team 2 (S.Melzack, P.Kyte)
First team 6 (J.Fisher 3, D.Natoff 3); Old Boys 'B' team 4 (R.Benson 4)
First team 4 (J.Fisher 2, D.Natoff, O.Squires); Founders' team 2 (S.Melzack, J.Ryan)
Old Boys 'B' team 7 (R.Benson 3, P.Small 2, A.Montlake, J.Ryan); Old Boys 'A' team 1 (Y.Mamouri)

FINAL (8 minutes each way)
Old Boys 'A' team 1 (Y.Mamouri); Old Boys 'B' team 1 (R.Benson)
Old Boys 'A' team won 5-4 on penalties

The TFFC Timeline is a graphic commemoration of the Club's history and achievements between 1968 and 2008.

The participants watch one of the group games at the top of the pitch in Princes Park. In the foreground is Brian Melzack who was one of the original Temple Fortune players at the time of the Club's formation. Brian took part with his brother Stephen; both used to live at the Melzack family home opposite the Kyte's home (the white house, centre at the top of the picture) in Oakfields Road. One can just see the Melzack's old home above James Ryan who is standing second from the right.

Action from the Founders' team's game against the eventual winners, Old Boys 'A' team. Stephen Melzack (right) is about to tackle a tree to gain possession!

Yali Mamouri (in the red and yellow shirt) scores one of eleven goals in the tournament, firing home past the Founders' team's Graham Meyer in the 'higher' goal in the third group game.

The First team's Jonathan Cohen tries to find Jon Fisher during the game against Old Boys 'A' which the Firsts surprisingly lost 6-1.

Time for a breather during the First team v Old Boys 'B' fixture, with the 'lower' goal in view. From left to right, Graham Meyer, Phil Small, Daniel Natoff, Jon Fisher, Andy Montlake and the number 4 having a rest, James Ryan.

A quiet moment during the Final between the Old Boys 'A' and Old Boys 'B' teams. From left to right, Rob Benson, Gideon Wetrin, Andy Souber and Lee Fegan.

Rory Delap (or Gideon Wetrin) about to hurl another long throw into the Old Boys 'B' goal mouth, where Andy Montlake and James Ryan marshall Yali Mamouri.

With the Final drawn 1-1, the match went to penalties, all players converting to leave the tie poised at 4-4. Here Yali Mamouri's low spot kick somehow evades the diving Phil Small to put the Old Boys 'A' 5-4 ahead.

The decisive moment approaches! Lee Fegan smothers Rob Benson's penalty and the match is won.

The Final ends with handshakes and celebration. From left to right, Gideon Wetrin, Phil Small, number 5 Yali Mamouri, Lee Fegan (hidden but gloves recognisable!) and James Ryan.

Leading goalscorer Yali Mamouri receives his commemorative plaque from Vice-Chairman Nick Waitsman, whilst Chairman Nigel Kyte presides and Lee Fegan anticipates receiving the main trophy.

A rather happy Lee Fegan collects the Jack Kyte Challenge Cup on behalf of the Old Boys 'A' team.

The victorious team! From left to right, Gideon Wetrin, Lee Fegan, Yali Mamouri and Andy Souber.

The Club issued a programme for the tournament, including the schedule, team colours and competition rules.
You can download the PDF here.

Many happy returns as Fortune hit 40
Forty years to the day since the club was formed, Temple Fortune played a commemorative tournament at Princes Park in North West London, the home of TFFC’s origins. A four-a-side competition featured 17 players with the Old Boys A team winning the final 5-4 in a penalty shootout. The match against the Old Boys B team finished 1-1. The contest was decided when Moroccan Yali Mamouri, the competition’s top-scorer with 11 goals, converted to leave keeper Lee Fegan to save Rob Benson’s spot-kick. A team skipper Fegan was presented with the Jack Kyte Challenge Cup. The winning team was: Lee Fegan, Yali Mamouri, Andrew Souber and Gideon Wetrin. Chairman Nigel Kyte said: “Without doubt, being back at Princes Park, where many an embryonic game was played on this very pitch in the mid-to late-sixties, was the only fitting way to celebrate this incredible milestone."
Danny Caro (JC Sports Editor and former TFFC player)