Marsa FC have always been in the shadow of Ħamrun Spartans. The proximity of the two districts have always made it easy for youngsters from Marsa to seek riper pastures in Ħamrun.
However, the junior club also had its bright moments. 1955-56 was one of those seasons.
The first team in Marsa was formed in 1919 by Neriku Azzopardi. The team was called Marsa United and its first president was the Marquis Barbaro.
The secretary was Ġuże` Goggi and the treasurer Gejtu Saliba. The club’s premises were somewhere at Timber Wharf.
As far as we know, the club played its first game in April 1919 was against HMS Clematis. This friendly game ended in a 1-1 draw.
In the 1920’s Marsa United represented the district in the league but after a while it disappeared from the scene completely.
In 1934, another team was formed in Marsa. This side had a slow start but slowly it developed into quite a competitive team.
Marsa FC made its competitive debut on October 14, 1934 against Hibernians. They lost the game 2-0 but they continued to compete in the league until the war stopped the game in Malta.
After the war, the team was reformed and in 1947 they joined the Third Division.
In 1952 Marsa were promoted to the Second Division.
1955-56 was a memorable season for Marsa FC. The Red-Blues won promotion to the First Division for the first time in their history and carried off the Division Two Cup without suffering a single defeat in both competitions.
Marsa dropped only two points in the league in drawn matches against Żejtun Corinthians and St George’s.
At the other end of the table, the relegation battle remained open up to the last match of the competition when St Patrick’s beat Mosta 1-0 to make sure of remaining in the Second Division.
This result left Birżebbuġa St Peter’s stranded at the foot of the table with only five points to show for their efforts. In the knock-out quarter-finals, Marsa struggled to beat Melita and win a place in the semi-finals.
This was an exciting game with both teams playing the kind of attacking football one associates with cup-ties. Both teams created and took their chances but at the end it was Marsa who won the game by the odd goal in seven.
Marsa’s main challengers that season were St George’s.
The Saints finished second in the league only two points less than the eventual winners. They, therefore, set their sights on the cup competition in an attempt to save their season.
In the quarter-finals the Cospicuans met Żejtun Corinthians who were also amongst the promotion contenders.
The two league encounters between the two teams were very close affairs but in the cup-tie, St George’s went on a rampage and beat Żejtun 5-0.
Marsa and St George’s were drawn apart in the semi-finals making the chances of a final between them quite possible. However, while Marsa beat Mosta Athletic 6-1, the Saints were surprisingly beaten by Gżira United by the odd goal in three.
The Maroons occupied a mid-table position in the league and the difference between them and the Division Two champions was too great for them to bridge.
Marsa played one of their best matches of the season and beat Gżira 3-0 to complete a memorable double.
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