Friday, 5 April 2013

Great Britain Lions take Spirit of Bulldogs to Sweden

BAFA may have re-launched the Great Britain student programme as the rebranded Lions but not all ties have been severed with the previous Bulldogs name.

Old met new when the current Great Britain incarnation were approached by the very first Great Britain student squad to take delivery of a trophy they wanted to donate.

GB University Lions Head Coach Wayne Hill with the Karl Bourne Bulldog trophy
The ‘Karl Bourne Bulldog’ Trophy was purchased by representatives from the 1993 Great Britain squad who toured Germany winning games in the cities of Konstanz and Passau. The pioneers of International student football the story of the origins of the tour is told here.
The idea first came to fruition when a Facebook group of the ‘93 old boys were contacted by their then Head Coach Damien Bayford who currently resides in Japan. He still had a small pot of cash left over from the tour some 20 years previous and the idea to create a trophy for the newly announced Lions tour of Sweden quickly gained support.

The group itself comprised of some old & current names from UK football including Jake Box, Pete Parsons, Derek Chapman, Gareth Boyd, Graham Crane, Al McNelly, Paul Crawley, Fergus Kehoe, Darryl Morton, Mike Jackson & Andy Hill. The trophy itself was named in honour of former Leeds Celtics Running Back Karl Bourne who passed away in 2000.

Lions Head Coach Wayne Hill was approached by Defensive Coordinator Pete Laird, who was a Captain on the ‘93 team, and agreed to take delivery of the trophy to be awarded to the MVP of the forthcoming Sweden tour on April the 6th.  Laird was delighted at the opportunity to deliver the trophy on behalf of his old teammates.

"The ’93 tour left an indelible impression on me. It showed me that there was a world of football out there and that we, in the UK, had an opportunity to make Uni ball something bigger and better. The current team who have been selected to tour in Sweden are in many ways our legacy."

"I’m sure their talent and physical ability far outweighs our old team but the experiences, the opportunities, the knowledge and the lifetime friendships they are going to have are something they will treasure forever. It is also fitting that we are able to honour a fallen comrade in Karl in the same year that we have lost Jay Dhesi who tried out for the Lions team’."

Coach Hill added ‘I was previously involved in the Bulldogs programme and understand and respect the history of the team. So, to be able to honour Karl and former Bulldogs in this way will be an honour. Also, with the passing of Jay Dhesi who trialed for the programme this year further supports the opportunity to represent your country and show our respect to the football community.



  1. Karl Bourne, a back who gave us fits at Glasgow every time we played Leeds and their Squidge offense, and to this day, the only man I've seen who can read a broadsheet on a tour bus full of sweaty behemoths. You are missed. Rest in peace, my friend.

  2. Fantastic list of names on that 1993 delegation respect to Jake Box, Gareth Boyd and Darryl Morton, will you be at Old boys this year? (ok Jake you are excused :))


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