Solent Stars - Memories

by Bob Beggs

Anyone arriving at a home Solent Stars match over the last two decades would have had to run the gauntlet of one of Solent's most avid followers. Bob Beggs has been a wonderful friend to the club as a fundraiser, raffle ticket seller and Father Christmas role player at our last home game each December. His advice to visiting referees has also been a feature, delivered as it is from behind the Supporters Table and with true Liverpudlian humour and insight.

Bob has written the following:

"I first went to see the Stars at the start of the 1983/84 season when my son asked me to take him to a basketball match. We went and I was hooked. That season we won the league, I think, by Christmas. The Stars must have been the best team in the British Isles and better than some abroad.

One thing that made me feel that basketball was special was how close the players and fans were. That year Stars were up at Warrington , so I went and saw the game. Afterwards I went up to the bar to see the players and each one I spoke to said thanks for coming and have a safe journey back. You don't get that in any other sport. My all time favourite player was John Johnson.

All seemed well at the start of the next season and then with money problems the team started to break up. It got so bad that some of us took letters around to the shops and businesses for help. But the damage had been done and we lost most of our best players and for a few years we just about survived.

We then started with home grown players and things started to look up. We won leagues and got to Wembley and won the cup. I often wonder how if we had kept that team together how good they would be now. Since then we have had our ups and downs, but it has never been dull.

On a more humorous note, one or two things I will always remember…………
Nic Burns playing the ball which then hit him on the head and went into the basket (He told me later that he had meant that to happen)….Colin Irish falling back on the halfway line and scoring three points in the process……and who can forget A. Cunningham playing to the crowd, always with a smile. I would love to have seen him here years ago when in his prime.

Thank you to all the players past and present who have given me so much enjoyment.

On closing, I would like to pick out one man who has been there since the start, Jim Rumsey. Thanks, Jim, for all you have done."

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