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Sam Bothwell & The Bothwell Cup
Sam Bothwell began playing soccer at the age of 5 while growing up in Northern Ireland. As a teen, he played for the Northern Ireland U17 National Team and went on to become a winger in the Northern Irish League where he earned the nickname "Mr. Magic" while playing for the Bangor FC.
Sam left Ireland in 1964 at the age of 28 and arrived in Toronto, Canada where he continued to play soccer. Two years later, Sam and his wife, Jennifer, immigrated to the United States and settled in Mentor, Ohio where he played for a Euclid men's Team.
After deciding to hang up his cleats, Sam pursued a career in coaching. When his son, Andrew, was eager to play soccer like his father, he Sam realized that the sport was underdeveloped and limited in Lake County. So, in 1974, Sam formed the Mentor Soccer Club with four teams and 60 players.
Sam found that he could share his passion with his own two children as well as the community. He spent countless hours securing fields for use, finding uniforms, and preparing fields for play. Nothing was too much for him when it came to soccer... and no spurprise that he became an outspoken leader within the soccer community.
Under his direction, Mentor Soccer Club became one of the first to offer an intra-city rec league. He also became involved in the Ohio Amateur Soccer League (OASL). Sam pushed for the development of soccer on the East Side of Cleveland and eventually his perserverance led to the formation of the eastern division of the OASL.
In 1988, Sam was honored as Coach of the Year by OYSAN... and his awards and accolades are numerous. He continued in youth soccer until his sudden death in 1989. In 1992, The Ohio Youth Soccer Association North recognized Mr. Bothwell's years of service and dedication by renaming the Fall State Tournament the "The Sam Bothwell Memorial Cup" now referred to as "The Bothwell Cup."
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