On Friday, September 23, the Tampa Bay Rowdies are set to host Legacy Night at Al Lang Stadium. To celebrate the ten-year anniversary of the 2012 championship, members of the 2012 Rowdies will take part in a pregame autograph session. The championship squad will also be honored during a halftime ceremony of Tampa Bay’s match versus Birmingham Legion FC.
The Rowdies will also mark the occasion with the unveiling of the “75/10 Club,” which will recognize and celebrate individuals whose contributions to the club have made the Rowdies an indelible name in the local community and American soccer. The name of the 75/10 Club is derived from the first year of play for both eras of the Rowdies, the original era team that kicked off in 1975 and lived on until 1993, and now the modern era which began play in 2010.
Rowdies legends Mike Connell and Perry Van der Beck will be the first two players of the Rowdies original era inducted into the 75/10 Club during halftime of the September 23 match. “Iron” Mike Connell holds the all-time Rowdies record for appearances with 277 matches played for the Green & Gold from 1975 to 1984. Van der Beck’s name has become synonymous with the Rowdies through his long tenures as both a player and front office executive. After a playing career that spanned the 70s, 80s, and 90s, Van der Beck helped revive the Rowdies in the modern era and brought the club its second championship in 2012 as General Manager.
Joining Connell and Van der Beck as the first 75/10 Club inductee from the modern era is former Rowdies midfielder Keith Savage. With 133 appearances for the Rowdies, Savage was a mainstay of the lineup during his seven years with the club. Savage also scored the second goal in the second leg of the 2012 championship final as the Rowdies rallied to win in penalties.
As members of the 75/10 Club, Connell, Van de Beck, and Savage will each have their names enshrined on the stands at Al Lang.
“With the 75/10 Club, our goal as an organization is to bridge these two eras of Rowdies soccer together,” said Rowdies Vice President Ryan Helfrick. “The Rowdies have such a rich and unique history, full of memorable moments and players that have left their mark on this community. It’s time to create something official to celebrate these individuals.”
Past Rowdies players, coaches, and executive level staff are eligible for future selection into the 75/10 Club. The Rowdies, in consultation with 75/10 Club members, select future inductees. A player or coach must be out of the game for three seasons before being eligible for induction.
In honor of the 2012 Rowdies championship, fans purchase tickets for the September 23 match in sections 308 and 309 for $20.12 by clicking here. Fans can also organize a group outing at a discounted rate by calling 727-222-2000.