Shoreline Adult Soccer League, Inc.
Alfred “Alfie, Alfy” Young Campbell
3rd March, 193026th September, 2022
|It is with overwhelming sadness I announce to you that my old friend Alfie
Campbell, founder of the SASL in 1979, passed away on September 26th, 2022 aged 92 years old.
|He came from Glasgow, Scotland. Those of us who knew him called him by his
original nickname, "Alfie". As explained in his official obituary, later in his life he changed his nickname
to "Alfy". It sounded the same, but spelt differently.
I came from England to the United States in 1980 to marry my American girlfriend. I first met Alfie in 1981 just as the SASL was beginning to form (it started in 1979). I had known him for at least 30 years before I started to see him less and less as he grew older. I think the last time was probably around 2010 or so.
Alfie formed a soccer team in or around 1977 and called it Alfie's Angels. While he was developing the SASL in the late 1970s he changed the team name to Clinton SC where they were playing all their home games at Joel School.
Alfie was able to find several teams to play against. Alfie officially formed the SASL in, we think, 1979 with four of those teams from Clinton, Guilford and North Branford. Two teams came from North Branford called the 'Kickers' and the 'Strikers' (they would eventually merge and become North Branford SC). They were all Connecticut east shoreline towns. North Branford is a "tiny" bit inland, but shares beach rights with Branford on the coast. Hence he called it the "Shoreline Adult Soccer League" or SASL (pronounced "ess hay ess ell") for short. He was the first 'League Commissioner', of course, which was later changed to 'President' after Alfie left the SASL in 1986 for personal reasons.
Little would he suspect that it would grow into the largest sports league of any kind in Connecticut, up to 70 teams at one point and that it would have several age-related leagues -- Over-30, Over-40, Over-50 and Over-60. The SASL actually started as an "open league" (any age) and there was no exlusion of women players. Still isn't. Women have played in the SASL, but it was at least around 1999 or 2000 when the last one played. There have also been three or four women team managers during the history of the SASL.
In autumn 1981 a new team of former college players, Guilford United, joined the league. They were handily winning all their games. They were just to young and fast for most of the teams and individual players. For the following season, spring 1982, Alfie did not invite them back and famously made the SASL an "over 30" league. Any players who had played before in the SASL were "grandfathered". That is, you could still play in the league, even if you were not 30 years old, or older.
From there on, the SASL bloomed, at first adding new teams from Wallingford, Hamden, Cheshire and Waterbury. It was starting to become a not strictly "east shoreline" league, but statewide. Eventually teams would be coming from as far away as Danbury, Hartford, Greenwich and New London. Travel to away games was beginning to be far away and be a logistical nightmare. But when Alfie had to retire from the SASL in 1986 there was only 11 teams in one Over-30 division.
When Alfie was retiring from the SASL I renamed the team from Clinton SC to Clinton Thistle in his honour. The thistle is the official flower of Scotland. We moved the team to Madison, playing on the infamous New Road pitch, and in 1988 the team name was changed again, this time to Madison Thistle. In 1990 I changed the name of the team again to Madison AFC (Association Football Club) and that pretty much ended any connection with Alfie, even though he was no longer a player or manager for the previous four or five years.
In later years, somewhere between 2000 and 2010 I used to see him still playing indoors for a Clinton team in the Connecticut Sportsplex with some old friends from our Clinton SC days in the early 1980s before he had to retire from the SASL. In 2000 he would have been 70 years old. In 2010 he would have been 80 years old and I believe he was still trying to play for a couple more years!
Alfie will be sadly missed as an absolute legend in the Connecticut soccer community. Our prayers and deepest sympathies go to his family from all of us in the brotherhood of the Shoreline Adult Soccer League.
Alfie, from all of us here in the Shoreline Adult Soccer League, past and present, rest in peace.