Age and heat don't deter Marr Scotland's goalkeeper will be 60 in November


Scotland goalkeeper John Marr returned to Baltimore after 16 years to record 18 saves as his team fell to Japan, 10-7, in the opening game of the 1998 World Championships yesterday. But the most amazing number isn't on the statistic sheet.

Marr is the oldest athlete at the World Games at 59 and showed his toughness by playing all 80 minutes in over 90-degree heat. In 1982, Marr played for the fourth-place English team at the age of 43, when the World Championships were last played in Baltimore.

Asked why he still plays, Marr, who will turn 60 in November, said, "Rough I can handle and they keep asking me back. I love it: the games, the sport. I've come back to see a lot of good friends."

Using a hockey style of goalkeeping, Marr faced 49 shots, including 14 in the fourth quarter. It appeared that he began to fade near the end, when Japan put the game out of reach with two goals in the final 2: 41.

"They're young and I think their pace and youth carried them through," Marr said. "We just didn't put the ball in the back of the net and maybe I should have made another save or two."

What defense was it?

Iroquois Nation goalkeeper Joe Solomon had to be wondering what his defense was up to yesterday when the Australian team waltzed right up to the crease and got off one high percentage shot after another in a 13-9 Blue Division victory.

Solomon, a 5-11, 260-pounder who played collegiately at Cornell, played his heart out with one unbelievable save after another, but it wasn't enough.

Iroquois midfielder Tony Gray tried to save some face for his team's defense, saying, "We were playing a new zone and we weren't executing it the right way."

Heat wave

The match between Sweden and Wales began at 2 p.m., meaning it was played at the hottest time of the day. The two European clubs were not used to the 80-plus degree heat, as evidenced by the slow pace of the fourth period.

Sweden survived the heat better, escaping with a 7-6 win.

"We've practiced in 50-60 degree weather, not this heat," Swedish coach Hans Johnson said.

Wales' Matthew Nugent agreed. "We're not used to the heat, I was very tired at the end of this game," Nugent said.

Youth festival

The 1998 US Youth Festival begins tomorrow at Towson University's Minnegan Stadium and will be played through Monday.

The games will feature 2,200 youth players from 82 teams and four nations, and are scheduled to run from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. tomorrow and Sunday and from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday.

Pub Date: 7/17/98

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