West Lake has its roots in South End, where Blackpool FC was the dominant force. When the suburb of South End was demolished in the early sixties, Blackpool resettled in what is now known as the Northern Suburbs of Port Elizabeth. In 1972, some of the members of Blackpool broke away and formed West Lake. It was so named by Mr. Rodney Armoed, presumably because of its proximity to the Salt Lake situated in Windvogel. Interestingly, the club colours, Red yellow and powder blue were adopted from the popular comic strip “Roy of the Rovers”.
Before the formation of the EP Soccer Board (Now NAFA), Westlake competed under the auspices of WESFA. The club enjoyed much success in its formative years, winning the 2nd division league and the Knock-out cup in quick succession. Three members in particular formed the backbone of Westlake. These gentlemen, Mr. Douglas Williams – affectionately called “Bunny Boer”-, BasilThompson and Peter Williams will always be remembered for their enormous contribution to the club. Their vision, especially with regard to the development of juniors, is the underlying reason for the success that the club has enjoyed over the years.
Westlake was also very proactive in promoting non-racial sport at the time and they became one of the first clubs to include players from the “townships” in their teams. Two such players were “Chippa” and “Stan”. They also became the first Northern Suburbs clubs to play in a semi-professionalleague during the mid-eighties. In the early nineties,Westlake merged with Olympic Aces FC. This resulted in the colours of the club being changed to Red, Powder Blue, Yellow and Black. Unfortunately, the merger did not last very long and the club reverted to its traditional colours, dropping Black from its scheme.
Westlake continued to grow from strength to strength as the membership increased at a rapid rate. It produced numerous top class players including Neville Goldman, Basil Peters, Trevor“Boemie” Williams, and Kevin “Kella” Meyer, all of whom represented Eastern Province. Both “Kella” and “Boemie” are still active members of the club and are still integrally involved in the over 35 – league set up.
Role of Honour
West Lake boasts numerous accolades in its 38 year history. These include the following:
Winners WESFA second division
Winners First Division League
Mala Moodaley Knock-out Winners – 1995
Winners NASB Easter Soccer Tournament
Runners Up – NASB Easter Soccer Tournament
Winners of the NASB First Division – 2003
Numerous junior division league champions
The club also experienced difficult times, especially during their early campaigns of the unified NASB(NAFA) Premier league. They suffered relegation in 2002, but true to the character of the club, the team bounced back and regained promotion the following year.
The club further attributes its success to four areas-
Strong Administration with dedicated officials. Here, Messrs W. Goliath and D. Fortuin made significant contributions as they served the diligently as delegates to council meetings for more than 20 years.
Coaching – Initially Peter Williams was responsible for coaching the early teams. He was succeeded by coaches of the calibre of Alexus “Lexie” Pullen and Gavin Webster. Both these coaches introduced modern techniques which led to a major improvement in the performances of the club. The Current coach Eugene Fortuin has been at the helm of the club for several years. His ability as a coach, thinker and motivator of the senior team has transformed West Lake into one of the most consistent teams in the Northern Areas.
Supporters – West Lake enjoys one of the most enthusiastic support bases in the league. Comprised mainly of family members and the community of Salt Lake, the supporters have always played crucial role in the club as a whole.
Junior Development – Founder member, Basil Thompson was passionate about the development of junior players. Originally from the Western Province, his contribution to junior football in the club was significant.