They waited patiently for it and on Sunday Bodden Town residents finally saw the football field spark to life again.
With the general elections around the corner, the PPM came out in force for this potential vote catcher to mark the official opening of the G. Haig Bodden Town Playing Field.
It had been severely damaged by Hurricane Ivan in 2004 and was in need of renovation.
The re-opening ceremony was moderated by Joel Francis, Assistant Secretary in the Ministry of Sports.
Speeches were made by Minister of Sports, Alden McLaughlin, Anthony Eden, the Health Minister, Charles Clifford, Minister of Tourism, Osbourne Bodden, the local MLA and David Frederick Vice-President of the Cayman Islands Football Association.
Frederick deputised for president Jeff Webb who was in London meeting with the English FA and various clubs, including Chelsea, to secure exchange programmes.
In attendance was G. Haig Bodden’s widow Lurline, aka Miss Fifi, who is Anthony Eden’s mother-in-law and Alden McLaughlin’s aunt. Miss Fifi’s daughter Ellen Eden, Anthony’s wife was also there along with Angela Martins, Permanent Secretary and Chief Officer.
There followed the obligatory penalty taking. Clifford stepped up and scored sublimely with a left foot that would impress even Ryan Giggs.
McLaughlin hammered his into the corner like a seasoned pro.
Veteran players from yesteryear then played an exhibition match between the Bodden Town Masters against the Rest of Cayman Masters. Ossie Bodden changed and came off the bench to impress.
.The serious stuff came next with two FA Cup quarter-final matches. Elite hammered First Division East End 6-0 and First Division side Bodden Town whipped Tigers 4-1 in their encounter. It was a fitting result for the resurrection of their home ground.
The renovation work includes a new grandstand and the field has been totally raised and resurfaced and irrigation has been installed.
New football posts and flags have been installed and the adjoining basketball and netball courts have been resurfaced.
Electrical wiring to the lights has been totally re-done and lights have been re-aimed
The fencing has been reinstated and the parking lot landscaping is being replaced.
New bleachers are due to arrive this weekend and will be installed under the grandstand once they are there.
McLaughlin promised that before the May elections the playing fields at North Side and East End will also be restored.
This is the fifth major sports facility that the government has opened in the past year, including the one on Cayman Brac. McLaughlin promised that a swimming pool and tennis court will soon arrive in Bodden Town too.