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Vittoriosa reach the stars with top-flight promotion in 1954-55

In 1938-39, Vittoriosa Stars won the Third Division League and promotion to the Second Division. 

It was a great moment for the supporters of the historic city who still harboured fond memories of the pre-World War One era and the days of Melita-Vittoriosa and Vittoriosa Rovers.

Those legendary teams from Vittoriosa were amongst the pioneers of Maltese football and although they did not win any honours, they lived their short life in the First Division.

It was, therefore, no secret that the Stars ultimate ambitions were always to return to the First Division. 

The prospects of teams from Vittoriosa always seemed good but then war broke out and football was suspended. The Stars had to wait until the end of hostilities before they could fulfil their dream of playing in the top division of Maltese football.

After the war, the club was reorganised and was placed in the Second Division.  Between 1944 and 1954, the Stars made many attempts to win promotion but somehow they always fell short of their objective. 

The closest they came to the First Division was in 1950-51, 1952-53 and 1953-54 when they finished runners-up and missed promotion by a whisker.

However, every dog has its day and, after years of trying, Vittoriosa Stars finally made it to the First Division in 1954-55.

The Stars finished five points above their nearest rivals, neighbours St Patrick’s and Marsa FC.

It was a happy season for the people of the old city of Vittoriosa, bringing back to mind the good old days when the City was represented in the First Division by Melita-Vittoriosa and by Vittoriosa Rovers.

Vittoriosa scored 22 goals and conceded only five, registering impressive victories over Gzira United, Melita FC, Mosta, and Birzebbuga St Peter’s. However, the Stars found it more difficult to beat Marsa and St Patrick’s, winning narrowly in each case by two goals to one.

The battle for relegation was more intriguing. In fact, St Peter’s, Msida and Mosta finished on equal points at the foot of the table.

The necessary deciders were played in the form of a league. St Peter’s won both their matches leaving the other contenders to decide the issue between them. Mosta won 3-1 to condemn Msida to the Third Division.

In the Second Division Cup, Vittoriosa advanced only to the quarter-finals where they were beaten by Valletta Reserves in a contest that needed replays.

Valletta were themselves beaten by Sliema Reserves in the semi-finals by the minimum of margins. The Sliema youngsters then went on to overcome the challenge of Marsa FC 1-0 in the final.

Unfortunately, Vittoriosa Stars spent only one season in the First Division. 

In those days, it was very difficult for promoted clubs to retain their place amongst the elite of Maltese football. 

Time and again, a club would play its heart out to reach the top division only to slide back again the following season. 

Lack of funds often forced small clubs to sell their best players to make ends meet.  The Stars gave a good account of themselves but in the end they were forced to throw in the towel.

Vittoriosa finished the season at the bottom rung of the league with only eight points.  The relegation struggle was restricted between Rabat and Vittoriosa Stars.

The matter was decided in the final round of the competition.

Rabat, against all predictions, defeated Ħamrun Spartans while Vittoriosa lost against Floriana.

It was hard luck for the Stars to lose their hard-won First Division status because throughout the season they always tried to play attractive football.

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