Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Rowdies Artifacts Find Home at the History Center

Tampa Bay Rowdies artifacts, ca. 1975-1984
L2010.080.001, .005
Courtesy of Mike Connell
This summer, the Tampa Bay Rowdies returned to play as members of the U.S. Soccer Federation Division-2 Pro League. The original Rowdies – founded in 1975 and dissolved in 1993 – were the first local sports team to win a professional championship, defeating the Portland Timbers 2-0 to capture the 1975 Soccer Bowl title.

Mike Connell, an original member of the Rowdies, recently donated and loaned to the Tampa Bay History Center hundreds of artifacts from his playing career. Connell joined the squad as an 18-year-old from South Africa in 1975, and played his entire career as a Tampa Bay Rowdie before retiring in 1984. Nicknamed “Iron Mike,” he is widely regarded as one of the most popular players in franchise history. 

The accompanying photograph highlights a few of the items from his collection:

n      Commemorative Pepsi-Cola bottle honoring the 1975 NASL Champion Tampa Bay Rowdies
n      “Kick” game program from NASL Quarter-Final game at Tampa Stadium on August 13, 1975
n      Declaration issued by Tampa Mayor William F. Poe bestowing “Honorary Citizen” status to members of the 1975 Tampa Bay Rowdies
n      Official NASL game-used soccer ball

1 comment:

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