1991 GB Lions

1991 European Nations Championship, Finland

The GB team travelled with expectation. They were the defending European champions and as such were not subject to a qualifying tournament but they were not the powerhouse nation of 1989 - the coaching staff were different as was the organisation. In GB's favour there were to be no Germany and no Italy - both had fallen by the wayside. In the finals GB would come up against an over the hill Netherlands side or an inexperienced French side, the real danger came from the home team. Finland were at that time amongst the very best and hopes were high of a home team victory.

London Monarchs assistant coach Ray Willsey took over the reins as Head Coach and admitted it would be a tough ask,

"I'm not sure what I'm going into. Going into the competition we have a good chance, though I know little of the opponents." 

Coach Willsey at GB camp

The Lions travelled without having played in 2 years, and Willsey said,

"I would like us to have at least one game under our belts. Not having played puts us at a great disadvantage."

Star TE Gerry Anderson tore knee ligaments in the Coke Bowl clash with Birmingham the week before the Championships, and so the Lions travelled with just one Tight End, and there was further woe for the Lions as QB Mike Astle went down with a shoulder injury leaving just one recognised QB in Jason Elliot.

Great Britain 49-3 Netherlands

European Nations Championship Semi-Final at Helsinki, Finland - 16th August 1991

GB Lions Mark Webb prepares to kick off

In the semi final GB disposed of the Dutch side with little problem 49-3, a TD hat trick by the Bulls Lloyd O'Neil being the highlight and Warren Sweetman adding 114 yards from 14 carries. GB scored further TD's from AJ Okiwe on a reverse, QB Jason Elliott on a QB sneak, Paul Bailey and Clifton Mitchell to complete a convincing victory over the Dutch. The Lions D were superb knocking their opponents back for a total of -27 yards rushing and 132 total yards. Coach Willsey said,

"We started pretty well with those two early scores by O'Neill, then took control in the third and fourth quarters."


1st Qtr. Lloyd O'Neill 1yd TD run XP Kick Mark Webb 7-0
2nd Qtr Lloyd O'Neill 12yd TD run XP Kick Mark Webb 14-0
Holland 32 yard Field Goal 14-3
3rd Qtr A J Okiwe 12 yard TD run XP Kick Mark Webb 21-3
Lloyd O'Neill 1yd TD run XP Kick Mark Webb 28-3
4th Qtr Jason Elliott 1yd TD run XP Kick Mark Webb 35-3
Paul Bailey 24 yard TD run XP Kick Mark Webb 42-3
Clifton Mitchell 3yd TD run XP Kick Mark Webb 49-3


Rushing: O'Neill 3TDs. Warren Sweetman 14-114, Clifton Mitchell 75 yards, 1 TD
Interceptions: Hinton 2, Dean 1

Great Britain 14-3 Finland

European Nations Championship Final at Olympic Stadium, Helsinki, Finland - 18th August 1991

In the final, the Finns, having disposed of France in the other semi, handed GB their opening score on a plate following an errant snap on fourth down, the ball sailing through the punters hands and being recovered by GB in great field position. QB Jason Elliot of the London Capitals scored with a minute remaining of the first quarter on a QB keeper play.

Elliot scores vs Finland

From then on defenses were the order of the day. Finland breaking the deadlock with a 32 yard field goal and it remained 7-3 until with sixty seconds to go in the game. Jason Elliot, having a stellar game, hit Bournemouth receiver Pat Millar for a 40 yard gain. Millar being dragged down a yard shy of the end zone. 

QB Elliot passes

Two plays later Olympians running back Richard Dunkley fumbled the ball which bounced into the end zone where an alert Millar fell on the ball to win the game and the championship for GB. 

GB recover the ball to win the championship

Elliot collected the tournament MVP, and was also named as an All-Europe player, along with eight team mates. Lance Cone commented,

"Jason was so cool. He didn't react he just went out there and did what he had to do."

The other eight Lions selected for the All-Europe team were: Barry Driver, Mark Webb, Jo Richardson, Colin Nash, Paul Roberts, Warren Billingham, Gary Mills and Bola Ayiede. 

Colin Nash and Lloyd O'Neill


1st Qtr Jason Elliott 25yard TD run (QB draw) XP KICK Webb 7-0

3rd Qtr Finland 32 yard Field Goal (Lappalainen) 7-3

4th Qtr Pat Miller fumble recovery in end zone TD XP Kick Webb 14-3

Full squad of the finals

QB: Mike Astle (Manchester Spartans), Jason Elliott (London Capitals)

RB: Richard Dunkley (O's), Paul Bailey (Bulls), Clifton Mitchell (Hoods), Warren Sweetman (Panthers), Lloyd O'Neill (Bulls).

WR: Pat Miller (Bobcat), Jason Duncan (B52's), Leroy Innes (O's), A.J. Okiwe (Hoods), Mike Price (Birmingham)

TE: Gerry Anderson (O's), Tim Casey (Hoods)

OL: Jo Richardson, Gary Mills, Barrie Driver, Karl Hunter (Bulls), Phil Williams (O's), Robert Crowther (Panthers), Tim Taylor (Bedford), Don Edmonston (Fife 49ners), Mark Hopkins (Sacremento Surge)

DL: Andrew Tyler (O's), Dave Samuel (O's), Tim John-Baptiste (O's), Gavin Jones (Spartans), Warren Billingham (Bulls), Craig Wooldridge (Bulls),

LB: Eddie Harry (Hoods), #48 Mick Warrell (B52's), Shaun Carter (Bobcat), Dave Powell (Bobcat), Stephen McGuire (West London Aces), #54 Colin Nash (Bulls), Bola Aiyede (O's), Robert Dean (O's)

DB: Errol Taylor, Nigel Dias (Spartans), Paul Roberts, Kevin Lewis, #25 Mark Williams (Bulls), Jean-Louis Crisp (Bobcat), Gary Gonsalves (Capitals), Darrell Hinton (Mersey Centurions)

K: Mark Webb (Bulls)

Head Coach: Ray Willsey (London Monarchs)

Coaches: Nigel Dias (Manchester Spartans), Steve Moon (Birmingham Bulls), Brian Smallworth (London Barons), Paul Smith, Dennis Danielson

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