Liberia Black Star has been crowned champions of the maiden edition of the Pennoh W. Bestman Tournament.
The tournament was organized by Black Star in honor of its fallen President (Pennoh W. Bestman), who died on April 15, 2020 and was laid to rest May 21, 2020. The late Bestman was also a vice president of the Liberia Football Association (LFA).
According to the club, the tournament was part of its activities geared towards memorializing its deceased President based on his immeasurable contributions to the club and football community as whole.
The inaugural edition of the tournament, which was held at the Bardnersville Sports Pitch in the township of Gardnersville, on the outskirt of Monrovia, was participated by three of the four invited teams – only Ballers of the LFA did not attend.
The failure of Ballers to show up for the four-team tournament automatically qualified Bardnersville Oldtimers Sports Association (BOSA) to the grand final.
On the other, Black came from behind to beat Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) 3-1 and went on to beat BOSA 3-2 in the final showpiece.
Black Star, who paraded with some former stars such as Kelvin and Dionysius Sebwe and Oliver Makor of the national soccer squad, the Lone Star, as well as former top level division players, took a comfortable 2-0 lead in the first 45 minutes through Papie Whea and Kelvin [Sebwe] respectively.
Kelvin, the Black Star captain, drove into the BOSA’s defense and provided a lovely through-pass to James Soto Roberts who made no mistake to score Black third in the second half.
However, BOSA relentlessly opened up some spaces and got two consolation goals could not safe the day as the later came in the dying minutes of the match.
Also, an exhibition match between Alpha 50 and above and Super BOSA ended in an entertaining 2-2 draw.
Meanwhile, the Pennoh W. Bestman tournament was graced by well-wishers from the sporting arena including former LFA President, Cllr. Izetta S. Wesley, Mr. Legerhood Julius Rennie, Minister of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism (MICAT), Deputy Minister for Sports, Mr. Andy Quamie among others as well families, friends and loved ones.
In remarks, Mr. Alvin Wright, President of Black Star, said the tournament is in recognition of the immense contribution of the late Bestman to the development of football in the country.
“His contributions were not limited to only Black Star but the entire sporting word. So this tournament is to bring back his memory. This is an inaugural edition of a tournament that will be held annually,” stated the Black Star President as he lauded teams for showing up.
Information Minister Rennie, also in remarks, described the deceased Bestman as an illustrious sports person who worked towards the development of football at different levels.
Former LFA President, Cllr. Izetta Sumo Wesley, said the late Bestman, as Vice President of the football governing body during her regime, served diligently towards the improvement of the game.
“The late Bestman was a football developer. He was a committed servant at the LFA. I am glad that you have initiated this tournament to remember him,” the ex LFA head asserted.
Mr. Andy G. Quamie, Deputy Minister for Sports at the Ministry of Youth and Sports, also described the deceased as a man with a heart for football, noting that the management of Black Star should keep the dream alive. “Do not let the dream of Pennoh die. We will support the team to make it a formidable force again in whatever way we can,” Quamie noted.
The Central Bank of Liberia through its representative at the occasion, Richard Tobii, also lauded the Black Star management for keeping the torch of Bestman burning.
“We are gratified for this program. He was a sports man. Thank for this great time,” indicated Tobii, Chairman of the committee on sports at CBL.
At the same time, an elder brother of the late Pennoh, Mr. Nimely Bestman, on behalf of the family, thanked Black Star for keeping the soul of their brother smiling.
“I am so chilled by what you have done. We are so glad; we are so pleased for this initiative you have undertaken and we are going to support you to the fullest as family of the late Pennoh Bestman. Thank you for being so grateful,” he added.