One of Africa’s oldest clubs Real de Banjul will at the end of October mark another great milestone with 50 years of existence celebrations matches that are set to take place at the Independence Stadium in Bakau from October 29 to November 6.
To mark the event the management of the club has planned to line-up a series of matches pending confirmation of various invited clubs which has by now seen ten clubs from Senegal, Mauritania, Nigeria, Guinea Bissau and Holland already showing interest to participate.
The teams include Holland’s Eredivisie club NEC Nijmegen,Nigerian Premier League club FC Ifeanyi Ubah, Mauritanian side FC Nouadhibou,Sport Bissau e Benfica of Guinea Bissau, Senegalese Premier League clubs ASC Niarry Tally, ASEC Ndiambour, Guédiawaye FC, Casa Sports, AS Génération Foot and Olympique de Ngor
“We are happy to have these clubs showing intrest and i know they are ready to come and grace our big occasion,” Real de Banjul C President, William Abraham, said.
He added: “With less than six weeks to go for the big event, preparation has long started in order to have these teams accommodated and well taken care of when here. We will like to call for support from Gambians and outsiders with regards to sponsorship in any way they can for this one-in-a-lifetime event.”
Real de Banjul history dates back from 1966 when it was founded by a group of Secondary school boys who had returned from an international trip in Senegal and named it as BENSON AND HEDGES FC. The name was eventually changed by the then Director of Youth and Sports at that time to REAL DE BATHURST FC and upon its registration with the Gambia Football Association, it headquartered at 81 Lancaster Street, Banjul.
The team witnessed another name change in 1970 changing it from REAL DE BATHURST to its present name of REAL DE BANJUL.
The team then consisted of the youngest talented players in comparison to other local teams and won its first league title in 1971/72.
Their first continental appearance was in 1975 but they lost to Guinea’s Hafia FC . Their next appearance a year later where they played preliminaries against Mali’s Djoliba AC .
The club was lucky and advanced in the second round where they defeated Liberia’s Saint Joseph Warriors to progress but then lost two legs to Ghana’s Hearts of Oak in the next stage.
Real Banjul competed earlier against the Sporting Bissau from Guinea-Bissau and lost the second leg. The club competed in 1995 Champions League and defeated Cape Verde’s CD Travadores, then the club faced Mbilnga FC from Gabon in the next stage but they lost.
Four years later in 1999, the club faced another Guinea’s club AS Kaloum Star , they won first leg 0–2 losing second leg 4–1, in 2001, the club faced FC Derby from Mindelo, Cape Verde and defeated 1–0 in the second leg, then faced ASC Diaraf from Dakar in the neighboring Senegal but they lost both matches.
As the 2007 Gambia national champion, Real Banjul withdrew in early December and did not participate in the 2008 CAF Champions League. Their next appearance was twelve years later in the 2013 season, the club faced FUS Rabat and won 2–1 but away goal ruled them out.
Their recent appearance was the 2015 season where they didnt pass group stages.