Last weekend at Browns in Vilamoura, the European Space Agency (ESA) hosted their annual football tournament in the sunny Algarve.
Social Male and female football teams from the various branches of the organizations from Italy (ESRIN — ESA's Centre for Earth Observation), Germany (ESOC — The European Space Operations Centre), the Netherlands (ESTEC — The European Space Research and Technology Centre) and Spain (MDSCC- Madrid Deep Space Communications Complex and ESAC — The European Space Astronomy Centre) came together for two full days of games followed by a BBQ.
In 1981, Alan Brown, Terry Kennedy and Walter Thiebaut got the ball rolling by starting what has become to many people "the" tournament of the year.
It was with the passing of co-founder Walter Thiebaut last year that sparked the interest to see if the ESA tournament was still going on. To host it at Browns in memory of Walter was an honor for us.
Now known for Browns in Vilamoura, but in what feels like a past life, Alan Brown was in the IT business providing computer services to ESA. From Italy to Portugal, this chapter has come full circle. Alan was called up to the stage with other previous winners of the Man of the Match trophy, having won it in 1983!
“To host it at Browns this year truly special. To be a part of something my father started before I was born was something I will never forget.” — says Browns’ General Manager Allison Brown. “It was especially touching when Fabrizio Fiorini, the captain of the ESRIN football team called Alan on stage for the winning trophy, thanking him for starting something that brings all of these people together each year".