1 June 2023 - 17:55

George Blake's great-granddaughter visiting the Palermo Museum

George Blake's great-granddaughter visiting the Palermo Museum

Special visit today for Palermo Museum by Leaslie Blake, great-grandson of George Blake, first captain and coach of the Anglo-Palermitan Athletic and Foot-Ball Club back in 1900.

A long journey from Seattle to Palermo to rediscover her family roots for Mrs. Blake, accompanied by her husband Brian Samuels, who this afternoon was able to admire the numerous historical relics in the museum of the "Renzo Barbera" Stadium.

President Dario Mirri, the managing director Giovanni Gardini and the historical-scientific consultant of the Palermo Museum Giovanni Tarantino did the honors. A delegation of donors from the museum was also present on the occasion.

Born at 50, Claredon Street in Portsea (district of Portsmouth) on 18th January 1862, son of carpenter James Blake and Jane Baggs, George Blake was the first manager-captain of Palermo, as testified by all Italian and international sources. On 7th September 1893 he was one of the founders of the Genoa Cricket & Athletic Club, his signature is on the foundation register. After a short period in Naples, he moved first to Marsala and then to Palermo as an official in the British consulate. He was also secretary of the nascent Anglo Palermitan. In Palermo he was active - as evidenced by the register of deaths at the British Consulate in Palermo - also as a preacher and reader of sacred scriptures in the Anglican church Holy Cross, as well as manager of the "Sailor's Rest", a center of aggregation of the English community located in the old via Borgo 380.

The ranks of captain conferred on "Mr George Blake" are also proven in some English newspapers of the early 1900s. For example, as reported by the Shield Daily Gazette, he was on the field in the friendly match played on 24th March 1902 between the Anglo Palermitan Athletic Football club and the selection of Sir Thomas Lipton's yacht Erin. After Blake's name in brackets the indication «captain».

George Blake also had time to wear the rosanero jersey: at the age of 45 he was on the field in 1907 for another friendly match played by Palermo Fbc against the crew of Thomas Lipton's ship. He passed away on September 30th, 1912, and is buried in the non-Catholic cemetery of Palermo, at Acquasanta, a few meters away from Joseph Isaac Spadafora Whitaker.

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