1987 GB Lions

Great Britain 10-16 Italy

European Nations Championship Semi-Final at Helsinki Stadium, Finland - August 20th 1987

The game of the Big If. If only Coach Tate had not resigned at the eleventh hour. If only the team could have had a couple of pre-tournament training sessions. If only the momentum of the qualifying games had not been lost.

If all those things had happened the way they were planned then this six-point loss would have been a considerable victory. As it was this European Championship semi-final was lost before the team stepped out onto the field.

So many changes had been forced on the team which had won so impressively earlier in the year that it was unrecognisable. Lance Cone had to step in as head coach again with many new players and a new administration.

The confidence of the spring disappeared from the entire British party out in Finland as they saw three well prepared countries alongside them. The British team was first in potential, first in player ability and first in experience. They were fourth in organisational terms and that's where they were to finish.

The opening game against Italy was very close. The Italians scored their first and only TD after three minutes and then chipped in with three field goals. Dave Munn of Luton would reply with a field goal of his own and new quarterback Paul Ashton (Manchester Allstars) hit Allan Brown in the endzone to close the gap with just 45 seconds on the clock.

GB v Italy, 1987

When the Italians recovered the onside kick, the game was won as they ran out the clock.

Great Britain 23-38 Finland

European Nations Championship 3rd/4th place playoff at Espoo Stadium, Finland - August 22nd 1987

The story of the game (a slow start and a too-late recovery) was mirrored in this third-fourth place game against the home nation. Joe St.Louis proved his ability with three touchdowns including one from 82 yards, but a series of fumbles negated the positives and only a safety forced by Delton Anderson (London Ravens) added to the Lions score.

Meanwhile, the well-drilled Finns kept to a strict running game and were well in control. They led 31-7 at one stage and deserved victory and third place in the competition.

Article from GridironUK

1987 European Championship Squad (only players known)

QB. Paul Ashton (Manchester Allstars), Chaz Jasicki (Brighton B52's), Jon Gill (Bournemouth Bobcats)
RB. Trevor Carthy (Birmingham Bulls), Gladstone McKenzie (Nottingham Hoods), David Munn (Luton Flyers), Joe St Louis, Mark Wynnick (both London Ravens), Greg Mitchell (Chelmsford Cherokee) 
WR. Allan Brown (Nottingham Hoods), Joe Mahmood (Manchester Allstars)
TE. Bernie Hackshaw (Luton Flyers)
OL. Keith McIlroy, Steve McIlroy, Kennie Rennie, Tom Hunter (all London Ravens)
DL. Delton Anderson, Jude Ugwuegblulam, Lloyd Oloko, Delvin Pitt (all London Ravens), Jim Archell (Luton Flyers), Tony Dearon (Olympians) 
LB. Tony Allen (London Ravens), Dave Chambers (Birmingham Bulls), Kevin Allen (Olympians), Paul Boomer (Manchester Allstars)
DB. Mick Terrington (Nottingham Hoods), Paul Medley, Dave Prince (both London Ravens)
K. David Munn (Luton Flyers)
Alan Wood (London Ravens)

These are the only squad members known for this game - if you know any missing then click here to let us know

Back row (left to right) Tom Hunter #41 Paul Medley #24 Jude Ugwuegblulam   ?  Keith McIlroy #66 Kenny Rennie Errol Phillips Barry Kearney(physio)

Front row (left to right): #76 Steve McIlroy #34 Alan Wood #30 Joe St Louis #85 Delvin Pitt   #51 Tony Allen Lloyd Oloko   #99 Delton Anderson

Great Britain 26-0 France

European Nations Championship qualifier 2nd leg at Alexander Stadium, Birmingham - April 5th 1987

It was an anti-climax for the team to have to complete a two leg tie which they already knew they had won. However, more time together could only add to the team's confidence.

QB Brett Lewis

In front of an estimated crowd of 4,500, a sluggish first quarter was scoreless, but a Lewis pass to Brown opened the scoring in the second period and Ebudideke went in for a second TD shortly afterwards. Richard Meanwell kicked both PAT's and then hit a field goal from 45 yards to give Britain a 17-0 half-time lead.

RB Trevor Carthy

With the result of this game no longer in doubt either, the second half was a stroll with Andy Webb (Bulls) forcing a safety and Spong hitting Andy Harwood (Slough) with an endzone pass for the final score.

Gladstone McKenzie was the game's MVP with 84 yards on 8 carries, but this was truly an all-round performance.

Read the article in GridironUK for this game by clicking here for part 1and here for part 2

Full squad of GB vs. France 1987

QB. Chaz Jasicki (Brighton B52's), Mark Spong (Portsmouth Warriors), Brett Lewis (Chelmsford Cherokee)
RB. Mark Williams (Birmingham Bulls), Andy Harwood (Slough Silverbacks), Joe St Louis (London Ravens), Trevor Carthy (Birmingham Bulls), Gladstone McKenzie (Milton Keynes Bucks), Mark Wynnick (London Ravens), Steve Harvey (Birmingham Bulls), Victor Ebubedike (London Ravens)
WR. Mark Delaney (London Ravens), Allan Brown (Milton Keynes Bucks)
TE. Steve Christian (Birmingham Bulls)
OL. Paul Boothroyd (Portsmouth Warriors), Peter O'Flanagan (Manchester Allstars), L Tuitt (Slough Silverbacks), Jim Archell (Luton Flyers), M Desmond (Luton Flyers), Darryl Mendoza (Portsmouth Warriors), Troy Newton, Vince Summers (both Leicester Panthers)
DL. Joe Richardson (Silverbacks), JJ Baptiste (Chelmsford Cherokee), Gareth Alyson (Bournemouth Bobcats), K Hunter (Birmingham Bulls), George Newton (Portsmouth Warriors), Steve Trow (Birmingham Bulls), Andy Webb (Birmingham Bulls), Bart Earnshaw (Portsmouth Warriors)
LB Mick Terrington (Nottingham Hoods), Colin Nash (Birmingham Bulls), A Bray LB Portsmouth, Tony Allen (London Ravens), Dave Chambers (Birmingham Bulls), Gary James (Birmingham Bulls)
DB. Paddy Laird (Birmingham Bulls), Steve Raven (Nottingham Hoods), Paul Roberts (Birmingham Bulls), AJ Taylor (Birmingham Bulls)
K. Richard Meanwell (Birmingham Bulls)


Rushing: Jasicki 3-(minus)27, Williams 2-11, Harwood 2-4, St Louis 5-11, Carthy 6-37, McKenzie 8-84, Wynnick 2-9, Ebubedike 6-37.
Passing: Spong 7-3-39, Jasiki 6-3-27, Lewis 4-2-42.
Receiving: Williams 2-7, Delaney 1-17, Harwood 1-27, Brown 1-38, Christian 1-9, Newton (G) 2-10.
Tackles: Chambers 5(unass)-2(ass)-1(sack), Raven 6-1-0, Parker 2-3-0, Webb 0-4-1.
Interceptions: Raven 1-19.
Punting: Meanwell 4-198-49.5 av

France 2-58 Great Britain

European Nations Championship qualifier 1st leg at Dunkirk, France – March 22nd 1987

Surprisingly, the match against France was a much easier battle than the previous round against the Netherlands at the tail end of 1986. The GB team had the experience of two games behind them, and were also developing a good team spirit.

By half-time a lead of 32-0 had been built up and the fixture was as good as over. Joe St.Louis (Ravens), Trevor Carthy, Victor Ebudideke and Mark Williams (Bulls) all rushed into the endzone as Mark Spong (Portsmouth Warriors) led the way at quarter-back.

Brett Lewis (Chelmsford) and Chaz Jasicki (Brighton B-52s) also got time in the passing position as Coach Tate experimented with his three QB's. But whatever the formation, the Brits could do no wrong. Lewis scored the fourth TD himself before half-time and then, as every British player got on the field, Mark Wynnick (Ravens), Steve Harvey (Birmingham), Mark Delaney (Ravens) and Allan Brown (Milton Keynes) all scored second half touchdowns. The final two scores were from passes from Lewis.

France scored a solitary safety in the very final minutes. This victory sent shockwaves around Europe and GB were installed as favourites for the 1987 European Nations Championship.

Full squad of GB vs. France 1987

QB. Chaz Jasicki (Brighton B52's), Brett Lewis (Chelmsford Cherokee), Dave Stanton (Birmingham Bulls), Mark Spong (Portsmouth Warriors)
RB. Joe St Louis, Mark Wynnick, Victor Ebubedike (all London Ravens), Andy Harwood (Slough Silverbacks), Shaun Elliott (Bournemouth Bobcats), Gladstone McKenzie (Milton Keynes Bucks), Trevor Carthy, Mark Williams, Steve Harvey (all Birmingham Bulls)
WR. Mark Delaney (London Ravens), Allan Brown (Milton Keynes Bucks), Maverick Logan (Birmingham Bulls)
TE. John Haughey (Glasgow Lions), Steve Christian (Birmingham Bulls)
OL. Jim Archell (Luton Flyers), Peter Duncan (Edinburgh Eagles), Graham Smith, Peter O'Flanagan (both Manchester Spartans), Troy Newton, Vince Summers, Cliff Tomlinson (all Leicester Panthers), Rob Mason (London Ravens), Simon Warner (Olympians), Darryl Mendoza, Paul Boothroyd (both Portsmouth Warriors)
DL. Nigel Hoyte, Lloyd Oloko (all London Ravens), Gareth Alyson (Bournemouth Bobcats), Steve "Duck" Collins (Glasgow Lions), Tony Dearon (Olympians), Bart Earnshaw, George Newton (both Portsmouth Warriors), Charlie Neal (Northants Storm), Steve Trow, Andy Webb (both Birmingham Bulls)
LB. John Aska, Tony Allen (both London Ravens), John Parker, Gary James (Milton Keynes Bucks), Martin Fletcher, Kevin Allen (both Olympians), Mick Terrington (Nottingham Hoods), Dave Chambers , Colin Nash (all Birmingham Bulls)
DB. Steve Raven (Nottingham Hoods), Paddy Laird, Keith Rawlings (all Birmingham Bulls)
K. Richard Meanwell (Birmingham Bulls), Russell Willsmere (Olympians)
Keith Harradine, Tony Belfon, Leon Bunker, Mark Bowden, , Mickie Cook (all Northants Storm – positions unknown), Rob Kemp (Swindon Steelers – position unknown)


Rushing. Williams 3-54, St Louis 4-21, Wynnick 4-24, Harvey 3-8, Ebubedike 3-10, Harwood 2-(minus)3, Lewis 4-24.
Passing. Lewis 11-4-96-2-0, Jasiki 4-1-26, Spong 1-0-0
Receiving. Delaney 2-74, Harwood 1-7, Brown 1-33, Newton 1-8.
Sacks. Chambers 11/2-13, Taylor 1/2
Tackles. Chambers 2un 4 ass, Parker 2 un 5 ass.
Interceptions. Raven 1-45.

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