The Fr. Eddie Memorial Football Tournament holds immense significance for St. Paul’s High School Belagavi and participating schools alike in the city, akin to the FIFA World Cup. 55TH Fr. Eddie Memorial Knock-Out Football Tournament 2023-24 Inter School (Under 17) For Boys is being organized by the Paulites of Belagavi Worldwide (St.Paul’s School Alumni Association), in Association with St. Paul’s High School Belagavi.
Fr. Eddie Memorial Football Tournament
St. Paul’s organises a number of annual sports events, amongst which is the “Rev. Fr. Eddie Memorial Football Tournament.” The tournament, in its 55th year (2023) has been well received by football lovers across Belagavi and is one of the most eagerly awaited tournaments every year.
The man in whose memory this tournament is established, Fr. Eddie, was the Vice-Principal of St. Paul’s High School when he passed away in a tragic accident in the year 1965. Having been a good teacher and an excellent sportsman, with a great passion for football, Br. Eric D’Silva formed a committee and started this tournament to keep his memories alive, shortly after his death.
About Rev. Fr. Edward (Eddie) Menezes SJ
(Born: 11-04-1920 Died: 11-08-1965)
Rev. Fr. Edward Menezes SJ was fondly known to all the boys of St. Paul’s as ‘Fr. Eddie’. He loved the boys but disliked their faults and shortcomings. He was a good teacher, a strict disciplinarian, an excellent sportsman and very good in co-curricular activities.
Fr. Eddie completed his high school studies in this very school – St. Paul’s in 1939 and his B.A. from Lingaraj College in 1943 with English and Economics as his main subjects. His favorite subject was English. He was also good at teaching Latin. In his third year at college, he was chosen as the Secretary of the Football Committee. After completing twelve years of sincere service as a Jesuit Priest, Fr. Eddie was appointed as Vice-Principal in St. Paul’s, where he gave his best to his Alma Mater till his death.
In school Fr. Eddie took a keen interest in co-curricular activities. He also took a keen interest in the NCC activities and maintained a lively passion for sports.
His beautiful life of service was suddenly brought to an abrupt end when his motorcycle collided with a military jeep on the evening of Wednesday, 11th August 1965. He was on his way to meet his mother and sister in the Camp Bungalow area. That very morning he had also conducted the daily school assembly.
Hence Rev. Bro. Eric D’Silva SJ began this prestigious football tournament in memory of Rev. Fr. Eddie Menezes – his companion and brother Priest. Bro. Eric is now serving in Miramar, Goa. In the past many years, this football tournament has enabled schools to remain united, explore and encourage sporting football skills of young lads and inculcate good moral values among students. A memorial fund was also raised in his memory to keep alive his works and sports activities in St. Paul’s. Scholarships were provided to deserving and poor students.
The aim of this tournament was to promote the sporting football talents of young boys. Mr. Joseph Braganza who stayed opposite St. Joseph’s Convent, Mr. Neil from the Bungalow area, Mr. Bill Roberts – referee from the King George Military School, and Mr. Ameen Sait were a big source of support to running this tournament. Mr. Alex and his team got the ground marked and ready for use just half an hour before each match. Dr. F.A. Hafiz, fondly known as Himalayas, was the field doctor of the tournament. These wonderful people are some of the many Godsend friends who helped to organize and conduct this prestigious tournament.
The Eddie Memorial Tournament was an open tournament with teams from the Military, the Air Force teams from Sambra, the Medical College, two City Teams, Bashiban ‘A’, Bashiban ‘B’ and St. Paul’s. After a few years, the tournament was organized by the Old Boys Association headed by Mr. Albert Pereira.
Then the tournament was handed over to Rev. Fr. Patrick D’Lima, former Vice Principal of St. Pauls. Fr. Lima restricted the number of participating teams.
The Paulites of Belagavi Worldwide promise to host and conduct the games in the best of sportsmanship and fair play. With the cooperation of the participating institutions, the management of St. Paul’s High School, and the Paulite fraternity, the prestigious Fr. Eddie Memorial Football Tournament will see new horizons and will continue to do so, for many more years to come!
This year the tournament will start on September 1 in a knock-out format in which around 20 schools have been invited and all the matches will be played at St. Paul’s A Ground (St. Paul’s PU College Ground).