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Last Updated: Wednesday, 27 February 2008, 09:54 GMT
Relegation for First Tower United
La Hague Manor
La Hague Manor will host second division football next season
First Tower United have been relegated from Jersey's top football division for the first time in their history.

Champions Jersey Scottish beat the La Hague Manor club 4-0 on Tuesday to condemn them to relegation with their twelfth straight defeat.

Callum Brennan, Jack Boyle, Rueban Legge and Paul Aitkin got the goals to put Scottish a point clear at the top.

First Tower United dominated the island's top league in the 1970s and 1980s but have been in decline since.

First Tower United
have won the Jersey league 19 times
have been Channel Island champions 12 times, more than any Jersey team
have reached the third round of the FA Vase three times

They only just missed out on the drop last season, but after the departures of players such as striker Nathan Taylor and midfielder Mark Lucas, who both joined St Paul's, Tower have struggled to be competitive.

Tower have won 19 league titles in Jersey, one off the record held by Jersey Wanderers.

But Wanderers have also seen how a great history does not help you stay up. They were relegated at the end of the 2005-06 season but came straight back up as champions of Division Two last season.

But, unlike Tower, Wanderers did manage to win one match and draw five in their relegation year, a record Tower has no chance of bettering.

Tower have also won the Upton Park Trophy, the Channel Island Championship, 12 times, more than any other Jersey club.

606: DEBATE

Tower's heyday was in the late 1960's and 1970's. They won 10 titles in 11 seasons from 1968-1978 when the likes of Rory Crick was in his free scoring days. They won the Upton every year between 1972 and 1978 apart from 1976 when they went down to Vale Rec.

That side also made the third round of the FA Vase in 1979 where they lost 3-2 at Newport Isle of Wight, a feat matched in 1993 and 1997.

Tower last won a league title in 1995 and beat Sylvans in the Upton that year.

First Tower found fame on a national scale thanks to the late Blackburn owner Jack Walker. He bought the club in the 1990s and invested heavily in the side, making their La Hague Manor ground one of the best in Jersey football.

Jack Walker
Jack Walker was a major benefactor of First Tower in the 1990s

But since Walker's death in 2000 the club has seen its mantle as Jersey's top side go to the likes of Jersey Scottish, Trinity and parish rivals St Peter.

Now life in Division Two beckons and the need to re-build begins.

Tower manager Bob Kearsey has a great pedigree for turning sides around - he took St Martin's into the top flight for the first time in the 1990s and guided Jersey Scottish to back-to-back league titles between 2003 and 2005.

But bringing a demoralised Tower side back from its first ever relegation could be his toughest assignment yet.



SEE ALSO
Tower women win title once again
25 Feb 08 |  Football


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