Bangkok Veterans League
Season #5, Event #5
— Annual International Vets League Tournament —
• Inaugural "Bangkok Veterans Classic" 2009 •
20-22/Feb/2009 • Bangkok, Thailand

Veterans League Finally Goes International

Date: 19/May/2009


  Supported Charity ==>  

In its 5th season of existence, to commemorate this milestone anniversary, Bangkok Veterans League decided to expand its activities, and hold its inaugural international tournament, fondly naming it "Bangkok Veterans Classic" or "BVC8s".

As those who played in the local monthly Vets League tournaments may know, Vets League has developed from its humble 4-team beginnings to today's 16-to-24-team tournaments we hold month-after-month. As a natural extension, we wanted the fun-&-joy to expand to an international level starting from 2009.

Vets League's philosophy is friendship, fellowship, fairness, and fun in football, where winning is not the objective. The "Vets Classic" adopted the same philosophy, and prided itself with being friendly and fair, in the true "Land of Smiles" spirit of "Amazing Thailand". We wanted to see each team and every player leave at the end of the tournament with a positive impression of this "new" annual landmark, having made some new friends in the players from other teams, and anxious and eager to return to play in 2010.

Yes, there are plenty of tournaments around the region. Yes, many of them are old and well established. Yes, it's familiar faces and places to visit each year.

Yes, "same, same"! But, this one, we made it different! Different in many ways!
  • Non-commercial (reasonable participation fee)
  • Objective is not to win it all, but build and develop friendships and relationships for future years
  • Organized by a league (not by a club or a company)
  • 1-day tournament (free to rest or go sightseeing in Bangkok and its surroundings on Sunday)
  • Includes a Charity Match on Sunday (for those who want to take part in)
  • 8-a-side (only one of its kind in the region)
  • Distinctive "non-violent" (and perhaps somewhat awkward!) rules
  • Plenty of time on the pitch (keep on playing even if losing games!)
  • Plenty of supplies
  • Trophies for all the teams
  • And, memories for long afterwards!

So, in that endeavor, we had a true football feast for all the participating teams!

This was the the schedule of events for the whole weekend.

Date Time Activity
 20/Feb/2009, Fri 7pm-9pm • Captains Night @British Club
 21/Feb/2009, Sat 10am-5pm • Tournament Day @Harrow School
 21/Feb/2009, Sat 8pm-11pm • Trophies Party @Livingstone's
 22/Feb/2009, Sun 3pm-6pm • Charity Match @Harrow School

In this "first-ever" inaugural edition, despite the late start in preparations, we aimed for a cozy 16-team tournament, and we ended up with a respectable:
    • 10 teams from our local regulars, and
    • 2 visitors from overseas.

When the dust settled, the following 12 were the "Founding Father" teams of Bangkok Veterans Classic:
    • Bangkok British Club — Thailand
    • Bangkok BSL Veterans — Thailand
    • Bangkok Can-U-Kick-It — Thailand
    • Bangkok Cosmos — Thailand
    • Bangkok Harrow Cooks — Thailand
    • Bangkok LeCoq French — Thailand
    • Bangkok Sunbelt United — Thailand
    • Bangkok Singha Allstars — Thailand
    • Bangkok Hodgepodge 2009 — Thailand
    • Bangkok United Japan — Thailand
    • Hong Kong/Dubai Pepsi Shooters — China/UAE
    • Hong Kong Smugglers — China

The chronicles of the inaugural tournament (including the many days of preparation put in by the Tournament Organizing Committee) is documented below.

We had a great time organizing it. Hope you had equally great time participating in it.

Preparations for the 2010 edition has already started, and you can find your invitation for it at this link. Do write me back if in earnest to reserve your "Early Bird" spot.

Looking forward to it.

Kind regards,

BVC8s 2009 Tournament Organizing Committee (TOC):
    • Eralp (Veterans League)
    • Gonzague (LeCoq French)
    • Graham (British Club)
    • Marc (BSL "Apprentice" Veterans)
    • Preben (Hotspot Spotters)
    • Roland (BSL "Master" Veterans)
    • Sirichai (Yingcharoen Standbys)
    • Wakana (BU Japan)

Click on the following links to jump to respective sections below:

TOC Meetings — Jun/2008-Feb/2009
        DownUnder, Crossbar, Livingstone's         

The Tournament Organizing Committee (TOC) initially kicked around the "international" Vets League idea in its exploratory meeting on 16/Jun/2008 at DownUnder. The decision at the end of that meeting was a resounding "Go!". Much of how the tournament actually unfolded during the weekend of 20-22/Feb/2009 was decided at that original meeting — all the way from the tournament name "Bangkok Veterans Classic", to number of players-a-side, to tournament magazine, and even down to the tournament shirts — I mean, everything!

The subsequent TOC meetings were just a formality to decide who was going to take on what responsibility, and iron out nitty-gritty details.


TOC #1 — 16/Jun/2008 — DownUnder:

Picture 1 — Your dedicated Tournament Organizing Committee in their initial exploratory meeting.
Left-to-right: Graham, Marc, Gonzague, Preben, Eralp, Roland [Absent: Sirichai, Wakana].

TOC #2 — 26/Nov/2008 — DownUnder:

Picture 2 — Your dedicated Tournament Organizing Committee in their planning meeting #2.
Left-to-right: Thomas (guest from Tyrol, Austria), Florian (guest from Bavaria, Germany), Gonzague, Eralp, Roland [Absent: Preben (in Phuket), Graham (in Pakistan), Marc (in Bangna), Sirichai (in Nontaburi), Wakana (in Indonesia)].

TOC #3 — 17/Dec/2008 — Crossbar:

Picture 3 — Your dedicated Tournament Organizing Committee in their planning meeting #3.
Clockwise-from-left: Sirichai, Wakana, Eralp, Gonzague, Graham "the Acrobat", Preben "the Ben", Roland, Marc [Absent: None!].

TOC #4 — 08/Jan/2009 — Livingstone's:

Picture 4 — Your dedicated Tournament Organizing Committee in their planning meeting #4.
Clockwise-from-left: Roland, Eralp, Graham, Peter (guest from British Club), Wakana, Martin (guest from British Club), Sirichai [Absent: Preben, Gonzague, Marc].

TOC #5 — 23/Jan/2009 — Livingstone's:

Picture 5 — Your dedicated Tournament Organizing Committee in their planning meeting #5.
Clockwise-from-left: Sirichai, Graham, Marc, Roland, Jane ("Better-half" of Peter), Peter (guest from British Club), Eralp, Wakana [Absent: Preben, Gonzague].

TOC #6 — 05/Feb/2009 — Livingstone's:

Picture 6 — Your dedicated Tournament Organizing Committee in their planning meeting #6.
Clockwise-from-left: Pedro (Los Latinos Captain), Carlos (Los Latinos Manager), Roland, Graham, Eralp [Absent: Preben, Gonzague, Marc, Sirichai, Wakana].

TOC #7 — 16/Feb/2009 — Livingstone's:

Picture 7 — Your dedicated Tournament Organizing Committee in their planning meeting #7 (last pre-tournament meting).
Clockwise-from-left: Marc, Eralp, Roland, Graham, Preben, Gonzague [Absent: Sirichai, Wakana].

TOC #8 — 09/Mar/2009 — Livingstone's:

Picture 8 — Your dedicated Tournament Organizing Committee in their meeting #8 (their last meeting for post-tournament assessment).
Clockwise-from-left: Roland, Sirichai, Wakana, Eralp Marc, Gonzague, Preben [Absent: Graham].

Tournament Magazine
            The Official Story             

We were double-minded whether to put in the effort and produce an official tournament magazine. In the end, we sinked in the time and the effort to publish something worthy of praise. Thanks to Roland's insistence on quality, you may just agree that we pulled it off.

More importantly, in this economic troubled times of 2008-2009, we were even able to find sponsors that supported this inaugural effort. Sponsors, like the logos of which are proudly brandished at the top of this page, who were:
  • adidas
  • AngloInfo
  • Asia Water
  • Ayam Brand
  • British Club (BC)
  • Chang
  • Crossbar
  • Deutsch Star Jewelry
  • Fluid Asia Pacific
  • Gamma Industries
  • Grover Trading
  • Harrow School
  • Independent Wine & Spirit (IWS)
  • Jagermeister
  • Livingstone's
  • New International School of Thailand (NIST)
  • Nonthavej Hospital
  • Numrung Rayon
  • Olivie Cafe


Page 1 — Front Cover Page of the Official Tournament Magazine (Roland's creation!).

Page 2 — Olivie Cafe and Ayam Brand.

Page 3 — Table of Contents, and Welcome Message from the Editor-in-Chief.

Welcome Message from the Editor-in-Chief:
    I'd like to start with saying "Thanks" to all the teams and players who have decided to take part in this Inaugural "Bangkok Veterans Classic 8s" (BVC-8s) football tournament in Bangkok, Thailand, and become part of the history!
    Although the Tournament Organizing Committee has been working on it sonly since Nov/2008, the BVC-8s has been in preparation for a pretty long time, actually, since we started the Bangkok Veterans League back in Feb/2005.
    At that time, following years of running the ball in the Farang League and the Casual League, some of us thought it was not really possible to keep up with the young-blood filling up the ranks of the newly emerging teams, and so the result was the new "Vets League" in Bangkok, specifically welcoming those of us who were looking for the lighter side of the game among peers (who didn't run circles around us.!).
    Originally floated by British Club's Chris Jolly during the friendly games back at the end of 2003 at the International School of Bangkok (ISB), and after much intense debate and discussion during 2004, the Veterans League got its inaugural kickoff back in Feb/2005 with 4 visionary "Founding Fathers":
    • German Vets (led by Eralp, Bruce, Ralf-K)
    • British Club Vets (led by Martin, and Chris remotely!)
    • Viking Vets (led by Jesper, and later by Niclas)
    • NIST Teachers (led by Adrian)
with the unique philosophy of friendship, fellowship, fairness, and fun in football, where winning is not the objective. Since then, the Vets League has attracted more than 50 different teams over the years to its monthly tournaments, with players from all walks of life and all corners of the world, and continues to grow its roster of teams.
    Each team that participates in the monthly Vets League prides itself with being friendly and fair, in the true "Land of Smiles" spirit of "Amazing Thailand". We would like to see each team and every player leave at the end of the day with a positive impression of the half-day meet-up, having made some new friends in the players from other teams, and anxious and eager to return to play in the following month.
    Since Day-1, we have always wanted to take the idea and the philosophy of the Vets League to an international level until we reached that critical mass. And, in its 5th season in 2009, some of us who regularly play and help in the Bangkok Vets League thought that critical point was here & now, and finally dove into preparing the "international" Vets League last year in 2008.
    Well . . . . . the result is this new, expanded, annual, international version of the Vets League that we fondly call "Bangkok Veterans Classic" which, with a different gentle and social approach to The Beautiful Game, we believe will become a regional tradition and a prominent landmark event among all the other tournaments in the footballing scene of Asia. And, as they say, "The rest is history!"
    So, enjoy this Inaugural BVC-8s, enjoy Bangkok, enjoy Thailand, enjoy football, enjoy beers, enjoy friendships, and we hope BVC-8s will become something you would like to be part of for many years to come.
    I'd like to expresses my sincere thanks to [1] the members of Tournament 2009 Organizing Committee who, in addition to their responsibilities in their own Vets League teams, were smoothly conned into this idea of organizing a new tournament in the region by subjecting themselves to agonizingly frequent, arduously long, and extremely late night planning meetings; [2] to all the Sponsors who probably thought "money down the drain" in this difficult times of world economic downturn, and yet still were enticed; [3] to all the participating local Vets League team Captains who expressedly said "fc*k, another tournament?", and yet still dragged their teams; [4] to Hong Kong Pepsi Shooters and Hong Kong Smugglers both of whom promptly replied "yes, confirmed", and didn't cancel later, and allowed us to keep the "International" title in our new fledgling tournament's name; and last, and certainly not least, [5] to Sister Joan who took the biggest risk of her life and graciously accepted to associate her Klong Toey children's charity and mission with us. We are grateful to all of your support!
    Not much left to say. On behalf of all in the Tournament Organizing Committee,

Welcome to the inaugural BVC-8s Tournament 2009, and best of luck to all the teams..! Let the games begin!
                                                                                             -Eralp (a.k.a. "E.G." )

Tournament 2009 Organizing Committee:
     • Eralp (Veterans League)
     • Gonzague (LeCoq French)
     • Graham (British Club)
     • Marc (BSL "Apprentice" Veterans)
     • Preben (Hotspot Spotters)
     • Roland (BSL "Master" Veterans)
     • Sirichai (Yingcharoen Standbys)
     • Wakana (BU Japan)

Page 4 — In Memoriam Farewell to Legendary Referee — Kh. Sukit, and a few words on our chosen charity — Sister Joan.

Page 5 — Harrow School, and Asia Water

Page 6 — Bangkok British Club, Bangkok BSL Veterans, and The Crossbar.

Page 7 — Bangkok Can-U-Kick-It, Bangkok Cosmos, and Fluid Asia Pacific

Page 8 — New International School of Bangkok (NIST) and Nonthavej Hospital.

Page 9 — Bangkok Harrow Cooks, Bangkok Harrow Teachers (who withdrew from participating), and Numrung Rayon.

Page 10 — Group Stage Fixtures.

Page 11 — Knockout Stage Fixtures, and 2009 final rankings.

Page 12 — Laws of the "Inaugural" Competition.

Page 13 — Bangkok LeCoq French, Bangkok Sunbelt United, and Gamma Industries.

Page 14 — Bangkok Singha Allstars, Bangkok Hodgepodge 2009, and Deutsch Star Jewelry.

Page 15 — Bangkok United Japan, Hong Kong Pepsi Shooters, and AngloInfo.

Page 16 — Hong Kong Smugglers, Pataya Southern Cross (who withdrew from participating), and British Club (BC).

Page 17 — Map to the Venue — Harrow School.

Page 18 — "Thank You" to the Sponsors, and Sponsors Index.

Page 19 — Jagermeister and Independent Wine & Spirit (IWS).

Page 20 — Back Cover especially reserved to adidas.

Captains Night — 20/Feb/2009 (Fri)
             Hosting the Team Captains at British Club             

All that preparation kicked off with welcoming the Team Captains at the British Club (in Silom Soi 18), and wining-&-dining them with the main purpose to indoctrinate the philosophy and rules of this new-tournament-on-the-block.

And, in the process, we were also able to do the Groups Draw that dictated what team plays in which group against what opponents during the Group Stage of the Tournament Day. As a result of the random lucky draw, the 2 groups turned out to be as follows:

Group-A Group-B
(A1) Bangkok Hodgepodge 2009 (B1) Bangkok United Japan
(A2) Hong Kong Pepsi Shooters (B2) Bangkok LeCoq French
(A3) Bangkok BSL Veterans (B3) Bangkok Can-U-Kick-It
(A4) Bangkok British Club (B4) Bangkok Harrow Cooks
(A5) Bangkok Cosmos (B5) Bangkok Sunbelt United
(A6) Hong Kong Smugglers (B6) Bangkok Singha Allstars

Funniest part of the whole night was to get a belated phone call from Pepsi Shooters Captain Mark, regretfully informing us that they ended up going to Sukhumvit Soi 18, instead of Silom Soi 18 (go figure !)


Picture 9 — British Club, an oasis within the Bangkok busy business district that is Silom, is a formidable place to enter.

Picture 10 — Arriving early, Sunbelt United Captains Chris and Anders are making acquaintance with the locals.

Picture 11 — Crowd slowly rolling in.

Picture 12 — The BSL Veterans contingent ready get the party underway.

Picture 13 — Vets League's Eralp finally gets to meet Hong Kong Smugglers Captain Joos, after a 6 month period of e-mail exchanges.

Picture 14 — Can-U-Kick-It Captains, Darren and Mark, find the beers swiftly.

Picture 15 — Hong Kong Smugglers Captains, Evan and Joos, move over to the beer table in anticipation of the Groups Draw.

Picture 16 — Graham, Eralp, Pimmanee strike a pose for the cameras.

Picture 17 — The Thai contingent, Singha Allstars Kh. Pakasit and Harrow Cooks Kh. Somboon, settle down, after a long Bangkok day, simmering their ice-cold beers.

Picture 18 — Tournament Organizing Committee — Roland, Eralp, Graham and Wakana in search of the spelling mistakes in the Official Tournament Magazine.

Picture 19 — Graham, and Sunbelt United Captains — Chris and Anders, debating the action on the "Best Goals of 1990s" DVD shown on the big screen.

Picture 20 — BU Japan Captain Suzuki San having a hard time chasing a future Veterans League footballer — his little daughter.

Picture 21 — BSL Veterans enjoying the company.

Picture 22 — LeCoq French Captain Dominique already in transfer talks with Can-U-Kick-It Captain Darren.

Picture 23 — "Look Ma, Bangkok Post is talking about us!"

Picture 24 — Yes, really — "Bangkok Vets League goes international"

Picture 25 — British Club Captain Wayne finally makes his way and finds the beers with Hong Kong Smugglers.

Picture 26 — Eralp, Pimmanee, and Dominique strike a pose for the cameras.

Picture 27 — "Ladies and Gentlemen, dinner is served!"

Picture 28 — Hong Kong Smugglers are mesmerized by the choice of dishes on display.

Picture 29 — The Tournament Organizing Committee finally gets the chance to scoop the remaining scraps.

Picture 30 — In place of sushi and teriyaki, genuine English Bangers & Mash for the Japanese contingent.

Picture 31 — Mmmmm, must be delicious.

Picture 32 — Hong Kong Smugglers, and Preben, can't take their eyes off the goals action on the big screen.

Picture 33 — Returning for the second round of that Bangers & Mash.

Picture 34 — And, the briefing kicks off.

Picture 35 — The indoctrination slide on the Rules of the Competition. Remember, "slide-tackle-foul"!

Picture 36 — Eralp is getting out the precise punitive details from the Chief Referee Kumar.

Picture 37 — A few words on Sister Joan's Children's Charity from Graham — the aid-oriented member of the Tournament Organizing Committee.

Picture 38 — Calling the Captains one-by-one to come and make the draw from the Formula-1 Trophy Girl on their team's behalf.

Picture 39 — Hong Kong Smugglers Captain Joos makes the first draw.

Picture 40 — . . . . . and, gets the cutest picture of the night.

Picture 41 — British Club Captain Preben leaning carefully to see what team he drew.

Picture 42 — Can-U-Kick-It Captain Darren pulling his draws.

Picture 43 — LeCoq French Captain Dominique courteously leaves the drawing to the Formula-1 Trophy Girl.

Picture 44 — . . . . . and, announces the drawn name himself, with plenty of jokes.

Picture 45 — Sunbelt United Captain Anders cracking jokes as always.

Picture 46 — BSL Veterans Captain Roland always in a chatty mood.

Picture 47 — . . . . . and, meticulous with details.

Picture 48 — TOC member Eralp takes a chance himself.

Picture 49 — Sunbelt United's other Captain Ginger Chris gives it a try.

Picture 50 — Harrow Cooks Captain Kh. Somboon announcing his draw.

Picture 51 — Singha Allstars Manager Kh. Pakasit very graceful with the microphone.

Picture 52 — Pimmanee also lends a hand.

Picture 53 — Cutest 3-some of the night.

Picture 54 — And, Graham emerges to guess who the very last drawn team would be.

Picture 55 — Final bit of advice to the team Captains before the long and arduous tournament day tomorrow — go to bed early (morning)!

Picture 56 — The Thais and the Japanese are in talks to form an alliance again.

Picture 57 — Final bit of rule confirmations with the Chief Referee Kumar.

Tournament Day (Group Stage) — 21/Feb/2009 (Sat)
            Tournament Gets Underway at Harrow School             

And, finally, D-Day arrives. All that preparation and planning culminates in this 1-day of action.

Overall, it was a wonderful day of football and a lot of laughs, where everyone seemed to be having great fun.


Picture 58 — Roland trying his best to fit all the supplies into his 4x4 early in the morning.

Picture 59 — BSL Veterans slowly descending on the Harrow School venue.

Picture 60 — Sunbelt United leadsman Terry gathering the troops for a few early words.

Picture 61 — Kumar is taking charge of the Referees, with the help from Eralp and Sirichai.

Picture 62 — Singha Allstars also gathering for the big day ahead.

Picture 63 — Plenty of preparation ongoing before the first kickoff.

Picture 64 — Graham is busy cooking the books.

Picture 65 — Pepsi Shooters up-&-about early, and ready for action.

Picture 66 — BSL Veterans full team stop and pose for a shot.

Picture 67 — Singha Allstars are all ears, listening to the final instructions from Manager Kh. Pakasit.

Picture 68 — Well, at least someone is without stress, and having a good time under the Bangkok sun!

Picture 69 — Volunteer filler team of the day, Hodgepodge 2009, going through introduction of the faces before their first kickoff.

Picture 70 — Hodgepodge 2009 on the defence against the Pepsi Shooters.

Picture 71 — Midfield action heats up.

Picture 72 — Pepsi Shooters pressuring Hodgepodge 2009 goal even further.

Picture 73 — BSL Veterans towering goalkeeper Roland in his customary warmup drills.

Picture 74 — BSL Veterans and British Club are about the kick it off.

Picture 75 — British Club's Beyhan (in orange) advancing the ball against BSL Veterans.

Picture 76 — British Club's Wayne attempting one of his stellar turns against BSL Veterans's Eric.

Picture 77 — BSL Veterans's Stefan, successfully defending against British Club's Wayne, in his only sprint of the day.

Picture 78 — Hong Kong Smuggler replenishing before their kickoff.

Picture 79 — Mighty Cosmos drawing up winning plans as they roll in for their kickoff.

Picture 80 — Cosmos's defensive maestro Esa pulverizes the ball swiftly.

Picture 81 — Another attack produces no result for the Hong Kong Smugglers against the Cosmos.

Picture 82 — Teams can't wait to get back on the pitch in the blistering midday sun of Bangkok.

Picture 83 — British Club's defensive legend Peter nagging BSL Veterans's lethal striker Kevin, wishing he could do some slide-tackling one of these days.

Picture 84 — LeCoq French's another attack contained by Pepsi Shooters defence.

Picture 85 — LeCoq French's striker Yilmaz looking for that left-foot blast.

Picture 86 — Eralp and Sirichai gets a photo-op with Nonthavej Hospital's helpful emergency medical staff on duty.

Picture 87 — Harrow Cooks relentlessly taking the game to Can-U-Kick-It.

Picture 88 — Singha Allstars and Sunbelt United in a friendly handshake at the end of their Group Stage match.

Picture 89 — While all that fast-paced hoopla is taking place on the pitches, BSL Veterans's David keepings himself warmed up with the hoolahoop.

Picture 90 — Kong Kong Smugglers and stripped-down British Club fighting it out in their Group Stage game.

Picture 91 — Strong contenders on the day, Harrow Cooks, pose one for the cameras.

Picture 92 — Tourist of the tournament, Hong Kong/Dubai Pepsi Shooters, memorialize their participation in the inaugural tournament.

Picture 93 — The two tourist teams, Hong Kong/Dubai Pepsi Shooters and Hong Kong Smugglers, captured before their Group Stage match.

Picture 94 — The other tourist of the tournament, Hong Kong Smugglers, in line for a good outing.

Picture 95 — Newcomers to the Bangkok Vets football scene, Can-U-Kick-It, seem delighted to be part of the tournament.

Picture 96 — LeCoq French (a.k.a. LeCoq Dominique as the only Frenchmen on board) having a good laugh.

Picture 97 — Sunbelt United brings another strong squad this tournament.

Picture 98 — BSL Veterans's Stefan's Darling handling our t-shirt sales on the day.

Picture 99 — BSL Veterans's Roland getting a smooth rub-down in between his matches.

Picture 100 — Pepsi Shooters in their lunchtime break.

Picture 101 — BSL Veterans discussing their strategy for the afternoon part of the competition.

Picture 102 — Lunch staff ready to dish out whatever available on the menu.

Tournament Day (Knockout Stage) — 21/Feb/2009 (Sat)
    Some Interesting Matchups Emerge at the Knockouts     

At the end of the Groups Stage, it was clear which teams were stronger than the others. Among the usual stalwart teams from Bangkok at the top of both groups, one of the visiting teams, Hong Kong Smugglers, was making waves in Group-A, as the points show in the following table.

Group-A Group-B
(1A) Bangkok Cosmos [16] (1B) Bangkok Harrow Cooks [15]
(2A) Hong Kong Smugglers [12] (2B) Bangkok Sunbelt United [9]
(3A) Bangkok BSL Veterans [7] (3B) Bangkok Singha Allstars [8]
(4A) Bangkok British Club [4] (4B) Bangkok LeCoq French [5]
(5A) Bangkok Hodgepodge 2009 [2] (5B) Bangkok Can-U-Kick-It [3]
(6A) Hong Kong Pepsi Shooters [1] (6B) Bangkok United Japan [1]

Cup Division QFs:
So, the Top-4 in each group entered in the Cup Division QFs were:

Cup Division QFs
Bangkok Cosmos 1-0 Bangkok LeCoq French
Hong Kong Smugglers 0-2 Bangkok Singha Allstars
Bangkok Harrow Cooks 1-0 Bangkok British Club
Bangkok Sunbelt United 2-0 Bangkok BSL Veterans

Bowl Division SFs:
And, the Bottom-2 teams were going to compete in the Bowl Division SFs, which were:

Bowl Division SFs
Bangkok Hodgepodge 2009 -vs- Bangkok United Japan
Bangkok Can-U-Kick-It -vs- Hong Kong Pepsi Shooters

Bowl Division Final:
When, in the Bowl Division SFs (above), Hodgepodge 2009 and Pepsi Shooters withdrew after a long day of exhausting football under Thailand's summer sun, the Bowl Division championship match was set:

Bowl Division Final
Bangkok United Japan 0-1 Bangkok Can-U-Kick-It

Thus, we had the first winner of the day in Can-U-Kick-It, carrying the Bowl Division handily, and concluding their run in the inaugural tournament by winning the Bowl Trophy and finishing at the 9th overall ranking.

Plate Division SFs:
The Cup Division QF losers automatically entered in the Plate Division SFs, and we witnessed the first penalty-shootout of the day between British Club and BSL Veterans — an occurrence we often see in the monthly local Bangkok Veterans League anyway! This time, turn of the luck favoured British Club in the sudden death penalty-shootout.
Plate Division SFs
Bangkok LeCoq French 0-1 Hong Kong Smugglers
Bangkok British Club 1(2)-(1)1 Bangkok BSL Veterans

Plate Division Final:
In the Plate Division Final, this time, British Club were a victim of their own medicine, instantly and narrowly (and some claimed, cordially) losing to the visitors, Hong Kong Smugglers.
Plate Division Final
Hong Kong Smugglers 1(1)-(0)1 Bangkok British Club

Thus, we had the second winner of the day in Hong Kong Smugglers, making the long trip from the Land of the Fiery Dragon, and grabbing the 5th overall silverware with the Plate Trophy.

Cup Division SFs:
The Cup Division got even more interesting when we had lost the visiting team, Hong Kong Smugglers, and were left with all Bangkok teams.
Cup Division SFs
Bangkok Cosmos 0(1)-(0)0 Bangkok Singha Allstars
Bangkok Harrow Cooks 0-1 Bangkok Sunbelt United

In a contentious game, Cosmos edged out Singha Allstars narrowly in the penalty-shootouts, and Sunbelt United overpowered the strong Harrow Cooks, again in a narrow victory.

Cup Division Final (a.k.a. Tournament Grand Final):
In a quite interesting up-&-down tournament Grand Final, Bangkok Cosmos once again proved themselves why they are a true tournament team.
Plate Division Final
Bangkok Cosmos 1-0 Bangkok Sunbelt United

Therefore, the top winner of the day, Bangkok Cosmos firmly emerged as the inaugural tournament champion, and ticked one more notch in their list of tournament wins in the region, also carrying the inaugural "Bangkok Veterans Classic 8s" Top Trophy to their trophy cabinet.


The final rankings of the entire 12 teams were recorded as follows:

Cup Division Plate Division Bowl Division
(1st) Bangkok Cosmos (5th) Hong Kong Smugglers (9th) Bangkok Can-U-Kick-It
(2nd) Bangkok Sunbelt United (6th) Bangkok British Club (10th) Bangkok United Japan
(3rd) Bangkok Harrow Cooks (7th) Bangkok BSL Veterans (11th) Bangkok Hodgepodge 2009
(4th) Bangkok Singha Allstars (8th) Bangkok LeCoq French (12th) Hong Kong Pepsi Shooters


Picture 103 — All the Team Captains in their traditional group photo, before they hear their Group Stage rankings.

Picture 104 — TOC members, Graham, Eralp, Sirichai, caught behind the trophies.

Picture 105 — Formidable British Club posing for the cameras.

Picture 106 — BSL Veterans Captain Roland cooling his swollen ankle in ice with support from his brother Frank and his fiance, who both travelled from Germany for this important occasion in Bangkok's footballing calendar.

Picture 107 — LeCoq French's Keith caught in his siesta moment.

Picture 108 — BSL Veterans's Frank, Roland, Eric debating how the day will end for their team.

Picture 109 — Darling, Stefan, Kumar, and Referees crew taking it easy.

Picture 110 — The Turkish clan — Yilmaz, Beyhan, Yilmaz, Eralp — always there or thereabouts with football.

Picture 111 — Enthusiastic wifes, Jane and Jane, cheering for their hubbies, Ian and Peter, running the ball in British Club.

Picture 112 — Singha Allstars always with a tough squad in any competition.

Picture 113 — Eralp presenting the trophy to Kh. Pakasit for Bangkok Veterans -vs- Thailand Seniors annual traditional friendly derby futsal match earlier in the year.

Picture 114 — Hong Kong Smugglers waste no moment to find the source of the beers once their games conclude.

Picture 115 — Cosmos and Sunbelt caught embracing each other before the tournament Grand Final.

Picture 116 — Simply 8-men squad of Cosmos (i.e., no subs) confident throughout the day.

Picture 117 — Having ensured everyone is in one piece at the end of the day, Nonthavej Hospital crew is about to head home, having done a brilliant job.

Picture 118 — LeCoq chieftains — Dominique, Phil (visiting from Vietnam), Keith — toast to a successful outing.

Picture 119 — Eralp presents the 4th place trophy to Singha Allstars management.

Picture 120 — Cosmos grab their newly-won championship trophy.

Picture 121 — . . . . . and, raise it in jubilation.

Picture 122 — And, one more (picture) for the road!

Trophies Party — 21/Feb/2008 (Sat)
            Trophies and Beers at Livingstone's             

After all that excitement during the day, we then retired to the comfortable environs of Livingstone's (in Sukhumvit Soi 33) for a well-deserved dinner and a pint or three beers.

We also handed out all the trophies for winners and losers in a fun way where anything-&-everything was fair target for a banter.


Picture 123 — Crowd slowly rolling in to Livingstone's.

Picture 124 — Sunbelt United gang already snacking on what's on offer.

Picture 125 — British Club players and their mates happily pose one for the camera.

Picture 126 — BSL Veterans's stalwart Steve gives a good pat on the back of Eralp.

Picture 127 — Party is on a good roll at this point in time.

Picture 128 — Sunbelt United's argumentative striker Anders checking with Kumar once again on his earlier call.

Picture 129 — It's a jampacked house already.

Picture 130 — BU Japan wifes and kids also dine in a fine fashion.

Picture 131 — LeCoq French's Keith and Dominique looking for that 2nd tower of beer.

Picture 132 — The buffet table is healthily stuffed with shish kebabs.

Picture 133 — Sunbelt United only half-way down the beer tower.

Picture 134 — British Club (Vern and Preben) and Pepsi Shooters (Oli and Mark) strike a good conversation along the way.

Picture 135 — Sunbelt United's Graham explaining to his BU Japan mates that they ought to get their own beer tower down that way somewhere.

Picture 136 — Nearly finished with their beer, Cosmos table somberly reflecting on the day.

Picture 137 — Pepsi Shooters's fan base always in cheerful mood.

Picture 138 — LeCoq French's Keith making sure he finishes all his peas.

Picture 139 — British Club's Preben toasting with BU Japan — kanpai!

Picture 140 — Graham points the way to the trophies ceremony.

Picture 141 — Hong Kong Smugglers settle down for a quick cold one.

Picture 142 — Sirichai and the Thai contingent enjoying their share of the beers.

Picture 143 — Crowd moves over to the lounge for the trophies ceremony.

Picture 144 — Sunbelt United represented in force at the evening party.

Picture 145 — Cosmos take a prominent seat.

Picture 146 — Hong Kong Smugglers sipping their beers in anticipation of the trophies.

Picture 147 — In all that hoopla, BU Japan representative finds time to take a nap.

Picture 148 — Must have been an exhausting day for the team BU Japan.

Picture 149 — Hong Kong Smugglers enjoying one more pint in the mean time.

Picture 150 — Cosmos shows up in full force at the awards ceremony.

Picture 151 — LeCoq French's Keith always in good mood.

Picture 152 — Other 2 official photographers of the tournament, BSL Veterans Captain Roland and BU Japan Captain Wakana, hard at work.

Picture 153 — One final check of the trophies.

Picture 104 — And, the trophies ceremony gets underway.

Picture 155 — BVC8s Tournament Organizing Committee 2009.
From left-to-right: Wakana, Preben, Graham, Eralp, Sirichai, Roland [Absent: Marc (in hospital), Gonzague (in India)].

Picture 156 — Mark receives Pepsi Shooters's last place trophy — the BadCup!

Picture 157 — Volunteer team Hodgepodge 2009's 11th place trophy is presented to Keith — its most prominent member.

Picture 158 — BU Japan are jubilant in not winning the BadCup!, and content with their 10th place finish.

Picture 159 — Can-U-Kick-It's only present player, Singh, picks up their Bowl Division (9th Overall) championship trophy, in the shape of a . . . . . bowl.

Picture 160 — LeCoq French's two anchormen, Keith and Dominique, step up to receive their 8th place trophy.

Picture 161 — Entire BSL Veterans crew — Kevin, Steve, Roland, Paul, Phil — joyful in their 7th place finish.

Picture 162 — British Club — Sam, Preben, Peter, Vern — more than happy with their 6th place ranking.

Picture 163 — Up comes the Plate Division (5th overall) winners Hong Kong Smugglers.

Picture 164 — They all want a feel of that Plate Trophy.

Picture 165 — Eralp is pouring the champaign on that Plate for Joos to bottom it up.

Picture 166 — A truly memorably speech from Captain Joos with the full support of team all around him, while Evan taking on the jester role.

Picture 167 — Kh. Somboon and the rest of the Harrow Cooks gang proud in their 3rd place finish.

Picture 168 — Somber looking Sunbelt United — Graham, Graeme, Terry, Joe, Anders, Paul, Steve — still pose with wide smiles and their 2nd place trophy.

Picture 169 — While Mauro holding Cosmos's Championship Trophy, Harold explains he had always wore his shinguards, even while taking his penalty, with Robert and Pedro grinning in agreement.

Picture 170 — A cute picture with Champions together with Runners-up.

Picture 171 — Everyone seems pretty exited in the group photo of the night (the elusive "Jimmy" from Hong Kong Smugglers is yet to be found!).

Picture 172 — Pedro and Eralp look sharp in the tournament official shirts.

Picture 173 — Good Vets buddies — Preben, Steve, Eralp, Vern — stop and pose a frame.

Picture 174 — Dominique, Maria, Keith, Eralp and Preben making sure to finish all the last drops of the remaining beer.

Picture 175 — Pepsi Shooters getting ready to kickoff their "One Night in Bangkok" . . . . . starting about midnight!

Charity Match — 22/Feb/2009 (Sun)
             Charity Match Called Off at Harrow School             

Yes, we had planned for a 11-a-side Charity Match on Sunday, where we had hoped to raise some donations for Sister Joan's Children's Charity in Bangkok's Klong Toey slums.

However, at the end of the day, we found out that there were less than a handful fit players from all the 12 teams who would be willing-&-able to do it — of course certainly, LeCoq French's Keith being first in line.

Therefore, an executive decision was made by the TOC immediately to can the Charity Match, and allow players (and their Betterhalves) to rest on Sunday.

Honestly, from a personal perspective, it was a good call! I had to roll over and fall off the bed to be able to get up on Sunday . . . . . late afternoon!

Last Word:
    With this opportunity, all of us in the Tournament Organizing Committee would like to send our heartfelt thanks to all Teams, Captains, Players, Referees, Assistants, Caterers, and most importantly, to all the Sponsors, without their support none of what we had planned would have been possible.

Despite cancelling the Charity Match, we are also proud to chip in our bit, and financially support Sister Joan's Children's Charity in her endeavors to make the world a better place.

We had a great time organizing it, and look forward to a repeat success in 2010 — an invitation to which you can find right here.

Looking forward to it!

Kind regards,


No photos of the Charity Match are available, as it didn't take place!

Press Coverage:

Thanks to Graham's contacts, we were fortunate enough to have a few connections in town to get a bit of pre-tournament exposure and publicity, namely:
    • 20/Feb/2009 edition of Bangkok Post, and
    • Feb/2009 edition of Big Chilli


Article 1 — 20/Feb/2009 edition of Bangkok Post.

Article 2 — Feb/2009 edition of Big Chilli

External Links:

The following links were caught in the cyberspace covering the inaugural Bangkok Veterans Classic:
    • Sister Joan's Blog
Section: Sports
Date: 20/Feb/2009 (Fri)
Title: Bangkok Vets League goes international

The Bangkok Vets League is marking its fifth season of football for players over 35 years old by hosting a regional tournament tomorrow at Harrow School. The Vets League has had an enormously successful four years growing from the humble roots of four teams, to 20-24 team tournaments each month.

As a natural progression in the development of the Vets League, the organiser Kh. Eralp ("E.G." to his many friends) decided to reach out to other veterans teams in the region and host the first international Vets League tournament called the Bangkok Veterans Classic.

This tournament aims to be different in several ways to other tournaments in the region. In recognising that there has been a trend over recent years for tournaments of this nature to be very competitive and increasingly commercial, the organising committee decided to baulk that trend and put on a tournament that combines good value and a little philanthropic endeavour.

The tournament will be a non-profit event with any revenue over and above the costs going to a local charity. The Bangkok Vets League has chosen to support Sister Joan who has been working within the slums of Khlong Toey for over 15 years, supporting families with food, fares and education expenses amongst other projects.

More information can be found at Sister Joan's website:

From: Eralp
Team: Tournament Organizing Committee
Date: 24/Feb/2009
Title: A Big "Thank You" for making the inaugural BVC8s a major success

Dear Vets and Captains,

We have managed to put to rest the inaugural edition of the "international" Vets League, as we called it "Bangkok Veterans Classic 8s". It was a fantastic weekend of football, plus much more!

On behalf of the tournament organizing committee, sincere thanks to the 2 visiting team — Hong Kong Smugglers and Hong Kong/Dubai Pepsi Shooters. They have persevered the intensity of Bangkok, and can now safely consider themselves in the ranks of saints (or, more like martyrs :)

Also many thanks to those local Vets League teams for participating and becoming "Founding Fathers" of this new tournament on the block, with a rather different casual twist.

When the dust settled at the end of Saturday, the final rankings were:
    • 1st) Bangkok Cosmos <== Champ!
    • 2nd) Bangkok Sunbelt United
    • 3rd) Bangkok Harrow Cooks
    • 4th) Bangkok Singha Allstars
    • 5th) Hong Kong Smugglers <== Plate!
    • 6th) Bangkok British Club
    • 7th) Bangkok BSL Veterans
    • 8th) Bangkok LeCoq French Dominique :)
    • 9th) Bangkok Can-U-Kick-It <== Bowl!
    • 10th) Bangkok United Japan
    • 11th) Bangkok Hodgepodge 2009
    • 12th) Hong Kong/Dubai Pepsi Shooters :) <== BadCup!

Congratulations to Mauro and the stars from Cosmos for yet another massive showing and a deserved win. I'm sure they'll be happy see their name inscribed as the first name on the BVC8s Permanent Cup (to be unveiled in 2010 :)

Yes, we're already looking ahead to 2010, and have already pencilled in Feb/19-21 in our calendar --- and, so should you :)

I'll do my best to get the photos of the tournament weekend up on the Vets website ASAP. And, in the mean time, feel free to send me your best shots and the summary of the tournament from your own team's perspective. While I'm sure Cosmos and Sunbelt have a lot to boast about, I'm particularly interested in hearing Pepsi Shooters story!

One last thanks to the Tournament 2009 Organizing Committee (Graham, Roland, Marc, Wakana, Gonzague, Sirichai, Preben), to each and every one of the sponsors, to Kumar for agreeing to put himself between Cosmos and Sunbelt in the Grand Final :), and most importantly to Sister Joan — which we hope we raised some level of interest and curiosity on her charity work (, and helped raise attention on the sad state of world poverty in general.

We're hoping the 2010 edition is even bigger, better, and funner :)

Hope to see y'all soon.

Kind regards,

[File: BVC8s 2009 Tournament Organizing Committee - 20-22Feb2009.jpg]

From: Phil
Team: Bangkok LeCoq French
Date: 24/Feb/2009


Well done in organizing the tournament; it was a fantastic job.

Sorry couldn't make the evening dinner – was just too tired to move.

Hope to make it back next year, this time with some more Vietnam Vets to form a team.


From: Dominique
Team: Bangkok LeCoq French
Date: 25/Feb/2009

Dear EG,

It was a great event and thanks a lot for all the fun and friendship we found.


From: Keith
Team: Bangkok LeCoq French
Date: 26/Feb/2009

well done to all the organizers "top job"

I enjoyed the Saturday game but was left feeling "I want another game (charity game Sunday)

A shame for those who missed the after party as it was a well planed and happy event.


From: Mark
Team: Hong Kong/Dubai Pepsi Shooters
Date: 26/Feb/2009


To you and your fellow organizers, a special thanks........great job, great weekend.

I will send you a write up on the Pepsi Shooters, ummmmmm....gotta think what I can put to press that wont be censored.

Have you anymore limited edition shirts..........somehow mine went missing, not sure how. I think if you have we may buy a couple of you.

Cheers and again thanks.

You can pencil us in for next year.......wouldn't miss it.


From: Dominique
Team: Bangkok LeCoq French
Date: 02/Mar/2009

that's Keith, who probably played more additional games with Hodgepodge than anybody else, and played full time in our own last games as we had no more substitutes.

Keith, I am so proud to have you with us in LeCoq!

Thanks to EG, the committee and to All the Brits (Eton Rifles), Turks (Anatolia) and Americans (Campioni) who played and supported LeCoq.


From: Joos
Team: Hong Kong Smugglers
Date: 20/Mar/2009

Dear EG,

Thank you for to message a couple of weeks ago. The Smugglers enjoyed the tournament a lot! Thanks again for the organization. For the write-up, you can just copy the article below in the local paper.

We are in for next years tournament (unless more Smugglers get fired this year).

Take care,

From: Ollie
Team: Hong Kong/Dubai Pepsi Shooters
Date: 19/Sep/2009

Hi EG,

I can not tell you how much fun we had at this year's competition, but what I can tell you is that despite our team picking up:
    • 2 x Cracked ribs (Me)
    • 1 x Back strain (Lee)
    • 1 x Broken toe (Keith)
    • 1 x Torn knee ligaments (Craig)

we are itching to come back for the 2010 event, and give a much better account of ourselves. (If we don't get a trophy in 2010, then we will have done better than 2009!!!)


From: Joos
Team: Hong Kong Smugglers
Date: 20/Mar/2009
Title: Fans call for homecoming parade

Hong Kong Smugglers fans are calling for a homecoming victory parade after the club's win in the Bangkok Veterans Classic Plate Division Grand Final.

Smugglers celebrated the club's win on Wanchai waterfront last week. Wanchai Police insist that no parade can be held until the summer, citing a "serious risk to public safety" if it was held this week.

But fans have criticized the decision, and have the support of some Smugglers players and local politicians

Supporters said a summer parade would be a "non-event".

Hong Kong Smugglers homecoming parade and the homecoming bus.

Smugglers defender Gerrard said some players were disappointed not to be able to celebrate with supporters. Speaking from Kowloon, he said: "This is a good moment to celebrate with fans, to say hi to them, to say thank you for what they did for us all year; they give us the big support."

Dozens of supporters contacted the TVB Pearl website to criticize the police stance.

Smugglers fans celebrating outside the clubhouse in Hong Kong.
One said: "The real football fans have lost out to the hooligans again, a victory parade weeks after the event is a non-event."

The fan, known only as Jimmy, said: "The authorities need to get their act together to show the rest of the world that Stanley can organize celebrations without any trouble."

The Chief Executive of the Smugglers, Barney, said: "It is right and fitting that Smugglers's fans should have the chance to celebrate the club's success this year, but they should do this in safety."

EG, I don't want you to miss out on the digital images of the unique Smugglers Football star cards. They are in high demand in HK! Please do not print out too many since there value will decrease that way.

Next year in Bangkok, we will provide you with some signed cards (there are really worth a lot of $$$$).


Team 1 — Hong Kong Smugglers in "Inaugural BVC8s"


Feel free to e-mail to me if you would like to voice your take on the above summary, or would like to obtain the original resolution pictures.