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Football: Leslie Asquez a true personality for football in Gibraltar

Leslie Asquez started his football career when he was nine years of age, when some of his friends formed a boy's team called "Stanley Building" since they all lived around the Prince Edwards Road area, this team, never played league football, they only played friendly matches against other housing estates. Leslie recalled that they had to do weekly raffles to collect money to buy their football shirts.

In 1970 Leslie came into competitive football as a player with St Jago's United in the Gibraltar Junior Football League, the St Jago's United team was managed by the late Charlie Catania (Sr). Leslie remembers winning the Junior Lighting Tournament that was then played at the N.O.P. During that time Leslie also played for his school Bishop Fitzgerald.

Subsequently in 1974 Leslie at the age of 13 signed to play in the G.F.A. 3rd division with Manchester United ("my brother Brian's Team" as he says). With Manchester United he won many Leagues and Cups he played right through all the three divisions becoming an important and key mid-fielder in the Manchester United premier team setup, with only 16 years Leslie had the honour of playing next to players of the quality of Jimmy Perez, Victor Figueras, Tommy Cornelio, Frank Baglietto, Brian Asquez and some others too many to mention. During that time Leslie recalls the superb and remarkable matches played at the Victoria Stadium nortex pitch with their challenging rivals Glacis United and St Joseph's F.C. and not forgetting those excellent games against the services teams Royal Navy, Army with the Resident Battalions and R.A.F.

Leslie also has a significant and notable record as a player with the Gibraltar Football Association selection. He played numerous games defending the G.F.A. colours. He remembers playing for the under 18 & under 21 squads, these teams were managed by Eduardo Tellez. Leslie remembers winning a game against a Spanish 3rd division side Marbella 4-2 and also a memorable match versus Norway under 21 that ended in a 1-1 draw. With the G.F.A. first squad he played many matches against the Combined Services, various Royal Navy Ships and the well-known R.A.F. Strike Command, Leslie also recollects playing against several professional sides like Queens Park Rangers, Hull City, Grimsby Town, Nott's County, Munich 1860 and Real Balonpedica Linense.

During that stage in 1984 Leslie signed in the G.F.A. 1st division for St Theresa's F.C. With this team he gained promotion to the Premier Division and continued to win two Premiership League Championships. During this period Leslie was intensely committed and involved with the Junior Football committee both as Fixture Secretary and as a Referee, in 1987 he was appointed the Gibraltar Junior Football League Manager. Under his management the G.J.F.L. selection participated at the Holland Cup in Amsterdam. Leslie brings to mind an unforgettable match in the semi-final against Ajax which the Gibraltar selection lost 2-0.

During his four seasons as Manager with the G.J.F.L. he continued in the Junior Football Committee and with his refereeing experience to back him became an experienced match official, with UEFA Grade "B" qualifications. Leslie officiated many games throughout all G.F.A. divisions in Leagues and Cup competitions. Then as the result of a severe injury to his groin he had to terminate his refereeing vocation.

After that in 1989 when he was fit again he returned to his beloved Manchester United, as team Manager for the Reserve team bringing talent and experience to the young side, the team won the G.F.A. League and Cup in the Reserve League division.

At present Leslie is still highly involved with the organization and running of Manchester United; last season 2005/2006 he had the responsibility of managing the Club's under 7's team together with the assignment of being the Club's Technical Advisor for all its divisions.

Leslie is also involved with the running of Veteran Football in Gibraltar, Leslie is a proud founder member of the Gibraltar Veterans Football Club, when in 1991 together with Eduardo Tellez and Richard Bear decided to form the a Veterans Club for the purpose of playing games for Charity and also bringing and meeting veteran players together at least ones a year. Presently Leslie is the Veteran's Club Vice-President and the Team Manager.

Leslie's involvement and connection with Gibraltar's Football cannot be denied; Leslie's knowledge and familiarity of recent local Football History is remarkable.

The Football Personality Award is a well-deserved recognition for a life dedicated to Gibraltar's Football.

Leslie is indeed, a Football Personality.
Gibraltar Veterans Football Club.

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