Trinidad and Tobago's Shahdon Winchester (C) celebrates with teammates after scoring against the United States during their 2018 World Cup qualifier football match in Couva, Trinidad and Tobago, on October 10, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Abraham Diaz
TT footballer Shahdon Winchester has been confirmed as a fatality in a vehicular accident on the South-bound lane of the Solomon Hochoy Highway, in the vicinity of Gasparillo, on Thursday morning.
This news was revealed in a Twitter post from the TT Football Association (TTFA).
The 27-year-old Winchester, who played for TT at all levels from Under-15 to the men's level, had 28 international caps since making his debut in July 2010, scoring six goals.
The former Naparima College striker was a member of W Connection and he had stints in Finland, Mexico and Azerbaijan.
No help from government Cudjoe to speak at Winchester’s funeral despite…
Shahdon Winchester. - THE Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs is unable to lend any form of assistance to the grieving family of deceased national footballer, Shahdon Winchester.
So says mother of the former TT striker Svetlana Winchester, who expressed disappointment and shock following two conversations with the ministry’s special advisor, Andre Ferguson. According to the Winchester matriarch, after her son’s passing on December 19, she received a call from Minister of Sport Shamfa Cudjoe, expressing her condolences.
Following their conversation, Winchester presented a letter to the sport minister and her ministry requesting use of the South Academy of Performing Arts (SAPA) for Shahdon’s funeral. Winchester was then contacted by Ferguson, on December 23, confirming that she was unsuccessful in her attempt to secure the venue.
It was during this chat, the grieving mother asked the ministry’s special advisor if there was anything the ministry would be contributing to aid with funeral arrangements. According to Svetlana, Ferguson declined. She then asked if it was possible to have a brief discussion with Cudjoe, to which Ferguson also denied.
Nevertheless, Svetlana persisted and again contacted Ferguson, on Monday,to see if there was a change of heart. However, she was again told there would be no assistance forthcoming, even though Cudjoe is scheduled to deliver an address at Shahdon’s funeral ,on Thursday, at Naparima Bowl, San Fernando.
“It’s costing a lot (of money) and based on the person that he was, we would have liked to give him a good send off. I’m a bit upset but I will do what I can for my child. To hear that the Ministry of Sport cannot assist in any way where the funeral is concerned, is a bit disappointing. We didn’t’ even get a box of Crix,” she said following a walkabout at Naparima Bowl on Monday.
Winchester admitted though, she does not want to make a big issue out of the situation. However, she questioned why the ministry would reject her requests after her son had served TT at almost every level of national football including being part of the Under-15, Under-17, Under-23 and the senior team.
She revealed though, financial aid was received from the TT Football Association while, family members were also “chipping up” to ensure Shahdon received a worthy send-off. His former club, W Connection and her employers at Eastern Credit Union have been significantly assisting with funeral arrangements. Even the Police band, according to her, has offered its services to help with music on Thursday.
“We are tight-knit family and is a love still. I’m still in shock with the ministry’s response. Even the people I talk to, even they can’t believe it. I have friends who are assisting and we will get it done somehow. The funeral is costing a lot but everyone knows what Shahdon did for his country,” she added.
Svetlana admitted, however, her grief has gotten worse as the days go by. Shahdon was the eldest of three siblings and also had a daughter, who according to Svetlana, is having some trouble sleeping without her dad at her side.
“The family is trying their best to keep me busy. It’s really hard. I’m in tears every ten minutes. After the final wake on New Year’s night, I get ready to send my child home the next day,” she concluded. 17 Hrs Ago Jonathan Ramnanansingh
Former national Under-17 football captain Roderick Anthony has become the second road fatality in Tobago for 2020. The 34-year-old from Buccoo, Tobago, is also the second W Connection player to have lost his life in a vehicular accident.
On December 19 Shadon Winchester, also of W Connection died in an accident with three of his friends on the Solomon Hochoy Highway in the vicinity of Gasparillo when the accident took place. Winchester was 27.
According to Police reports, the accident involving Anthony occurred around 2 am on Thursday morning just before the Buccoo Traffic Lights.
Guardian Media Sports understands that Anthony was a passenger in a silver Honda Civic vehicle driven by Keith Forde.
It is alleged that Forde hit a leaking WASA line, causing the driver to lose control of the vehicle.
Anthony was thrown from the car and died on impact. Forde was rushed to the Scarborough General Hospital for treatment, his condition is listed as critical.
Both Anthony and Forde were returning from a wake held for Taury Ramsey, 20, the victim of this year's first road fatality. Ramsey died on New Year's day, near the Wilson Road Traffic Lights in Scarborough. He was returning from the Soca on the Sand fete held at Pigeon Point.
The former W Connection player also played alongside the likes of Kenwyne Jones, Marvin Phillip, Jan Michael Williams and Julius James among others. Roderick won three National Intercol titles with Scarborough Secondary, Naparima College and St Anthony's College.
Anthony was also the coach of Scarborough Secondary school under 14 and 16 teams that campaigned in the Secondary Schools Football League.
FOR the third time in just under eight weeks, the national football fraternity, particularly Naparima College and W-Connection, mourns another stalwart sportsman, this time, former striker Teba McKnight.
The 37-year-old two-time (1999-2000) Intercol winner died on Monday afternoon. He had been ill for some time. McKnight was a former TT youth team forward and also attended and played for George Mason University in the US.
He served as a TT Football Association (TTFA) elite programme youth coach and was also a youth technical director for the Central Football Association. The ex-striker previously plied his trade in TT for Joe Public, W Connection and Club Sando.
McKnight’s death sent shock waves throughout the TT football fraternity, especially at his alma mater, Naparima College. The talismanic forward will be remembered for leading his school team to back-to-back Intercol titles.
McKnight scored decisive, title-winning headers in both 1-0 victories against Princes Town Secondary (1999) and Mucurapo Secondary (2000) to hoist the league’s most coveted crown.
Against Princes Town, Leon “Police” Brown quickly converted a free kick in midfield which beat the defence and found a pressing McKnight, who headed over the opposing custodian to score the lone goal. That year, McKnight’s goal sealed Naparima’s triple crown of titles, after it had previously won the Secondary Schools Football League South Zone.
A year later against Mucurapo, in a match locked at 0-0 in the 91st minute, a young Jerol Forbes, later a national striker,was substituted to add firepower to Naparima’s attack. Forbes’ unstoppable pace allowed him to press down the right flank and launch a targeted cross into the penalty area, where a flying McKnight headed it home to send the travelling fans into a frenzy, grabbing their second consecutive National Intercol title.
Naparima College team manager Percy Samlalsingh, who attended “Naps” during McKnight and Anthony’s reign and also managed Winchester, reminisced about their illustrious careers.
“It’s another tough loss for us. From Shahdon (Winchester), to Roderick (Anthony) and now ‘Teba – three stalwarts in the football fraternity for Naparima College. They have all brought home a lot of silverware and glory.
“He was a big supporter even after he left Naps. He would scout talents for athletes to acquire sport scholarships in the US because he had good chemistry with both local and foreign coaches,” Samlalsingh explained.
He admitted he had been unaware of McKnight’s illness. However, in speaking to former team-mates on Monday, he learned he had been ailing for some time and had taken a turn for the worse.
“We didn’t know he was ill. He was always in contact with us, because he assisted us in securing sports scholarships for our athletes. We were actually holding discussions with him to come on board for our form one programme.
“We now extend our mourning from Shahdon, to Roderick and now to McKnight,” Samlalsingh concluded.
Former Malvern Sports Clubs football stalwart Michael Saldenha died on Thursday morning at his home in Morvant, Port-of-Spain. He was 75 years old.
Known fondly as Sally, the former Malvern midfielder, was a fitness fanatic and could be seen playing in the Queen's Park Savannah on a daily basis.
In his football career, Saldenha not only played for Mavern but also the Glory Guys football team which he captained and that team was coached by national hero Everard "Gally" Cummings.
He played at the recreation level for Third World in the Woodbrook Youth Centre and Ice Picks in the latter years of his career. Saldehna was a founding member of Ice Picks, a club that he was a member of until his death.
As a coach, Saldenha assisted Malvern and Malick Senior Comprehensive which was then coached by the legendary Kenneth Franco in the 1990s. He also assisted Jean "Jah" Lilywhite Coaching School.
The effervescent Sally, who worked at HE Robinson, the Government Printery, National Maintenance, Training and Security Company Ltd. (MTS), leaves to mourn his wife Brenda and children Michelle Terrelonge, Melissa Saldenha-O'Connor and Marlon Saldenha.
He was the brother of the late Guardian Newspapers photographer Noel "sally" Saldenha, Evelyn Saldenha, Yvette Saldenha and Robert Saldenha.
The football fraternity was plunged into mourning yesterday following the early-morning death of former national, St Anthony's College and Queen's Royal College football coach Nigel Grosvenor. He was 63.
A man, who has dedicated his entire life to football, Grosvenor has been battling cancer for the past years, and only a couple months ago he was admitted to the Couva hospital when he contracted the deadly coronavirus (COVID-19).
He appeared to have been recovering well from the virus, but at 3 am yesterday morning the man known popularly as "Grovey" passed away reportedly from kidney failure.
Grosvenor was a household name in TT football particularly in the Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) where he won five Coca Cola National InterCol titles and two League titles with St Anthony's College, now known as the "Westmooring Tigers". He also won countless North Zone titles. However, Grosvenor will be remembered for his dedication to producing allround individuals through football.
Joel Gibbon, who played in the early 1990s, said Grovey just wanted to help young people by giving them an opportunity at life.
He said, "There were players who came to school and had no money to go back home or anything to eat but Grovey was always there to help them. He was genuine and he impacted many lives."
Evans Wise, one of a few players who moved from Grosvenor's care to the country's senior national team, described yesterday as a sad day in our football history.
"We have lost a good one, someone who was more than just a friend to me but a father figure, someone who always looked out for you as a person. He was a class act and I have lost someone close to my heart," Wise said.
He added: "I am still at a lost for words because I thought he was recovering well."
The multi-talented left footer who was among Leo Beenhakker's team that went to the 2006 World Cup in Germany, is calling for the Anthony's College Ground to be named after Grosvenor.
Another player Brent Rahim, who was labelled the replacement for midfield maestro Russell Latapy, was yesterday too distraught to talk when he heard the news.
Grosvenor was a father of three - Qian, Quia and Quishelle - but his passion to help others quickly made him a guardian of many, some of whom went on scholarships and contracts after their involvement with him, such as Rahim, Wise, Kenwyne Jones, the former national captain Gibbon, Gary Gibbons, Ricky Aleong, Ian Mc Cauley, Julius James, Yohancey Marshall, Kevin Neaves, Maurice Loregnard, Joel Penco, Steve Sealy, Abiola Clarence, Carlos Edwards, Jean Williams, Dimien and Dinelon Westfield, and Roderick Anthony, who died in a car crash a few months ago, among many others.
Due to his successes, Grovey also earned the right to coach the country's Under-15 boys' team.
Only in December, last year Grosvenor retired as a coach after three years at Queen's Royal College where he failed to win anything.
Nigel Grosvenor, right, the head coach of QRC gives instruction to his players during their SSFL Premiership Division match with Malick Secondary last Wednesday at QRC Grounds, St Clair. Malick won 2-0 in 2019.
It is said that a good coach and good coaching can build will, skill, knowledge and capacity because it can go where no other professional development has gone before: into the intellect, behaviours, practices, beliefs, values and feelings of an educator and his or her students. You think I’m making this up? Ask any young student or footballer who passed through St Anthony’s College under the guidance of Nigel Grosvenor for just over the past two decades and they’ll tell you.
It was October 1997 and I had just settled into my first year of sports reporting for this newspaper. Former sports editor Valentino Singh took a chance with me. A youthful 16-year-old just out of CXC from the southland. It was my first Secondary School’s Football League (SSFL) and Intercol season. A few months later, I was also thrown deeper into the fire, covering the Craven A Semi-Pro League and the Caribbean Cup which was hosted by T&T in 1998. But one particular experience stood out for me from that period. The Queen’s Park Oval was near capacity filled for the 1997 National Intercol Final between underdogs St Anthony’s College and St Benedict’s College. Being a south boy I was naturally hoping for a win for the La Romaine Lions who had been flying all season under the coaching of Muhammad Isa and playmaker Kester “Blacks” Cornwall. But the boys from Westmoorings had other plans on the day and Grosvenor was the main architect behind it.
Young Carlos Edwards was in the squad that won the final 2-1 and the following day Singh sent me on an assignment to cover the celebrations at St Anthony’s. I was nervous not knowing what to expect plus inexperience at the time made it difficult for me to understand how it is the “underdogs” could triumph on the big stage. My first advice from Singh was to head directly to the Principal’s office, explain why I was there and figure out the rest on my own. So imagine me strutting into unknown territory with my Guardian notebook and a voice recorder. Mobile Phones weren’t yet popular. And up came the big figure of “Grovey” to meet me in the Principal’s office. From that moment, I was made to feel like I had been part of the “Tigers” camp all season. It was maybe one of the coolest experiences I’ve had in the company of a championship-winning side as “Grovey” made sure I obtained all the material that I had been in search of to put together my biggest story of the season.
From then on it was always pure joy every time we crossed paths. “Aye Shauny how thing’s man” was a greeting I had grown accustomed to and most times it would be a case of Grovey calling me out before I even saw him. We would later work on the same team when he was appointed head coach of the National Under-17 Youth Team and though the results were not favourable, it was far from an unpleasant experience with him at the helm.
Roughly two weeks ago, myself and Carlos Edwards started a Zoom interview reminiscing about his days under Grovey. He recalled that his college head coach was the reason he ended up in the Defence Force both as an officer and a player before joining Wrexham in Wales. “It was the week that we won the Intercol in ’97 and one morning I heard horns blaring outside around 5:30 and when I look out it was Grovey calling out and telling me to get my bags packed ... we heading down Tetron. He had mentioned it before but he was serious now and only Grovey could have gotten me to enter the Army. The rest is history because when I look back now I could understand what he saw in me and why he pushed me to go that route which eventually led to my break in the UK,” Edwards told me.
Malcolm Gladwell, the author of Outliers: The Story of Success (2008), calculates that it takes 10,000 hours of deliberate practice—a practice that promotes continuous improvement—to master a complex skill. This translates into about seven years for those working in schools. The majority of teachers and principals want professional development; they want to improve their craft, be more effective, implement new skills, and see students learn more. St Anthony’s College got that from Grosvenor.
A coach can foster conditions in which deep reflection and learning can take place, where a teacher can take risks to change his practice, where powerful conversations can take place and where growth is recognized and celebrated. Grovey performed both roles. He was in charge of a space where healing took place and where a resilient, joyful community was built in the west.
Coaches impact their players by teaching life skills in hopes of developing positive relationships. Grovey did that. Just ask any of his players from the likes of Kenwyne Jones, Jan Michael Williams, Brent Rahim, Julius James, Edwards and others. He established a positive athlete-coach relationship where it was understood that no relationship, whether on or off the playing field would blossom without communication and the relationship between the player and coach. The players of St Anthony's felt that their coach cared about them as a person and not just as a tool to win games and titles. Players are people first and effective coaches take the time for the young student as well as the player. And as a positive athlete-coach relationship develops, many athletes begin considering their coaches as role models. Grovey was that! Your time on this earth would be cherished for years to come. It was a pleasure sharing these moments with you Nigel Grosvenor.
Shaun Fuentes is the head of TTFA Media. He is a former FIFA Media Officer at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa and 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Turkey The views expressed are solely his and not a representation of any organisation.
Argentine legend Diego Maradona died on Wednesday at the age of 60 at his home on the outskirts of Buenos Aires following a heart attack.
Matias Morla, Maradona's longtime agent, confirmed the news to Efe news agency. Maradona's spokesman, Sebastian Sanchi, said he died Wednesday of a heart attack two weeks after being released from a hospital in Buenos Aires following brain surgery.
A statement from the Argentina Football Association read: "The Argentine Football Association, through its President Claudio Tapia, expresses its deepest pain at the death of our legend, Diego Armando Maradona. You'll always be in our hearts."
Argentina President Alberto Fernandez also confirmed three days of national mourning following the news. Fernandez posted a photograph of himself on Twitter hugging Maradona with the message: "You took us to the highest place in the world. You made us immensely happy. You were the greatest of all. Thanks for existing, Diego. We are going to miss you the rest of our lives."
play 2:01 Maradona & Pele highlight the GOAT debateGab Marcotti weighs up the merits of Diego Maradona and Pele's careers to decide which player shined brightest. The Argentine government also confirmed that Maradona's body will lie in state at the Casa Rosada government headquarters and that the he will be given a state funeral.
Additionally, the Argentine Professional Soccer League announced that the current First Division tournament will change its name to honour Maradona.
In a statement, the league said: "To remember the unforgettable captain of the Argentine national team, the Copa de la Liga Profesional will be renamed to Copa Diego Armando Maradona"
One of the most famous moments in the history of the sport, the "Hand of God'' goal, came when the diminutive Maradona punched the ball into England's net during the 1986 World Cup quarterfinals.
Ahead of his 60th birthday in October, Maradona told France Football magazine that it was his dream to "score another goal against the English, this time with the right hand.''
Maradona also captivated fans around the world over a two-decade career with a bewitching style of play that was all his own.
Although his reputation was tarnished by his addictions and an ill-fated spell in charge of the national team, he remained idolised in football-mad Argentina as the "Pibe de Oro'' or "Golden Boy.''
Diego Maradona 1960-2020
Argentine legend Diego Maradona died on Wednesday at the age of 60 at his home on the outskirts of Buenos Aires following a heart attack. Read More.
The No. 10 he wore on his jersey became synonymous with him, as it also had with Pele, the Brazilian great with whom Maradona was regularly paired as the best of all time.
The retired Brazilian star mourned the death of Maradona in a brief statement provided to Reuters by a representative.
"Certainly, one day we'll kick a ball together in the sky above," he said.
CONMEBOL, the South American Football Confederation on Wednesday announced that it would reschedule the Copa Libertadores match between Maradona's former club in Argentina, Boca Juniors, and Internacional. The match will now be played on Dec. 2.
Argentina and Barcelona star Lionel Messi was among hundreds of players to send messages remembering Maradona as well as condolences to his family.
Lakers great Kobe Bryant, who died in January of this year, was once interviewed by a Spanish-language TV station, and told reporters that Maradona was his idol.
"I love Maradona. When I was young in Italy, I used to always watch Maradona when he played for Napoli," the NBA great, who spent seven years of his childhood in Italy, had said.
Maradona had recently battled health issues and underwent emergency surgery for a subdural hematoma several weeks ago.
Diego Maradona lifted Argentina to World Cup glory in 1986. Archivo El Grafico/Getty Images Pope Francis, who is from Argentina and a known supporter of San Lorenzo, also mourned Maradona's passing.
"The pope was informed about the death of Diego Maradona, he recalls the times he met him in these past years with affection, and he is remembering him in his prayers, as he did in the past days when he was informed about his condition," Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni said.
Born in 1960, Maradona captained Argentina to World Cup 1986 glory as well as reaching the final in 1990. At the height of his club career, at Napoli from 1984 to 1991, he helped the side win its only two Italian league titles. There were also notable lows, such as when he was kicked out of the 1994 World Cup after being found guilty of doping.
Napoli said on Wednesday the death was a "devastating blow" for both the city and the club. "We are in mourning," club spokesman Nicola Lombardo said. "We feel like a boxer who has been knocked out. We are in shock."
"Everyone is waiting for words from us. But what words could be possible for pain as strong as that we are currently experiencing? Now is the time for tears. Later, it will be words," the club posted on its Twitter account.
"It is a very sad day for the football world," Serie A president Paolo Dal Pino said in a statement. "Today, a legend of our sport has left us. One who made us dream and excited fans across the planet. For the next set of fixtures, we will remember him with a special initiative."
UEFA confirmed to ESPN that there will be a minute's silence before all Champions League matches on Wednesday and Europa League ties on Thursday.
Bold, fast and utterly unpredictable, Maradona was a master of attack, juggling the ball easily from one foot to the other as he raced upfield. Dodging and weaving with his low center of gravity, he shrugged off countless rivals and often scored with a devastating left foot, his most powerful weapon.
"Everything he was thinking in his head, he made it happen with his feet,'' said Salvatore Bagni, who played with Maradona at Italian club Napoli.
A ballooning waistline slowed Maradona's explosive speed later in his career and by 1991 he was snared in his first doping scandal when he admitted to a cocaine habit that haunted him until he retired in 1997, at 37.
play 2:04 Kempes: Maradona one of Argentina's most mythical football legends1978 World Cup winner Mario Kempes shares his memories of teammate Diego Maradona. Since ending his playing career in 1997, the ex-Napoli, Barcelona and Boca Juniors star battled a series of health issues. He was admitted to hospital in January 2019 with internal bleeding in the stomach. He also fell ill at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, where he was filmed passing out in an executive box at the Argentina-Nigeria game.
In 2004, he was hospitalised with severe heart and respiratory problems related to a long battle with drug addiction. He had undergone two gastric bypass operations to control his weight and received treatment for alcohol abuse.
Maradona was again hospitalized in early 2007 for acute hepatitis that his doctor blamed on excessive drinking and eating.
He made an unlikely return to the national team in 2008 when he was appointed Argentina coach, but after a quarterfinal exit at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, he was ousted -- ultimately picking up another coaching job with the United Arab Emirates club Al Wasl.
"To see him play was pure bliss, true stardom,'' teammate Carlos Beltran said. Maradona played from 1976-81 for first division club Argentinos Juniors, then went to Boca Juniors for a year before heading to Barcelona for a world-record $8 million.
In 1984, Barcelona sold him to Napoli, in Italy.
He remade its fortunes almost single-handedly, taking it to the 1987 Italian league championship for its first title in 60 years.
A year after losing the 1990 World Cup final to West Germany, Maradona moved to Spanish club Sevilla, but his career was on the decline.
He played five matches at Argentine club Newell's Old Boys in 1994 before returning to Boca from 1995-97 -- his final club and closest to his heart.
Drug problems overshadowed his final playing years.
Maradona failed a doping test in 1991 and was banned for 15 months, acknowledging his longtime cocaine addiction.
He failed another doping test for stimulants and was thrown out of the 1994 World Cup in the United States.
In retirement, Maradona frequented Boca matches as a raucous one-man cheering section and took part in worldwide charity, sporting and exhibition events.
But the already stocky forward quickly gained weight and was clearly short of breath as he huffed through friendly matches.
play 2:04 Italy's 'obsession' with Maradona will never be forgottenMina Rzouki recounts Italy's love for Diego Maradona during his time at Napoli and at the 1990 World Cup. In 2000, in what doctors said was a brush with death, he was hospitalized in the Uruguayan resort of Punta del Este with a heart that doctors said was pumping at less than half its capacity. Blood and urine samples turned up traces of cocaine.
After another emergency hospitalisation in 2004, Maradona was counseled for drug abuse and in September of that year traveled to Cuba for treatment at Havana's Center for Mental Health.
There he was visited by his friend, Cuban President Fidel Castro. In Cuba, Maradona took to playing golf and smoking cigars.
He frequently praised Castro and Argentine-born revolutionary "Che'' Guevara, who fought with Castro in the Cuban revolution -- even sporting a tattoo of Guevara on his right arm. Maradona said he got clean from drugs there and started a new chapter.
In 2005, he underwent gastric bypass in Colombia, shedding nearly 50 kilograms (more than 100 pounds) before appearing as host of a wildly popular Argentine television talk show.
On "10's Night,'' Maradona headed around a ball with Pele, interviewed boxer Mike Tyson and Hollywood celebrities, and taped a lengthy conversation with Castro in Cuba.
In retirement, Maradona also became more outspoken. He sniped frequently at former coaches, players -- including Pele -- and the pope.
He joined a left-wing protest train outside the Summit of the Americas in 2005, standing alongside Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to denounce the presence of then-President George W. Bush.
His outsider status made it all the more surprising when he was chosen as Argentina coach following Alfio Basile's resignation.
He won his first three matches but his tactics, selection and attention to detail were all questioned after a 6-1 loss to Bolivia in World Cup qualifying equaled Argentina's worst-ever margin of defeat.
Victor Hugo Morales, Argentina's most popular football broadcaster, said Maradona will ultimately be remembered for a thrilling style of play that has never been duplicated.
"He has been one of the great artists of my time. Like great masters of music and painting, he has defied our intellect and enriched the human spirit,'' Morales said. "Nobody has thrilled me more and left me in such awe as Diego."
Maradona is survived by his longtime partner, Veronica Ojeda, two daughters, two sons, and his former wife, Claudia Villafane.
Information from Reuters and The Associated Press was used in this report.
In this file photo taken on June 22, 1986 Argentinian Diego Armando Maradona shoots to score a sensational goal past England goalkeeper Peter Shilton in the World Cup quarterfinal in Mexico City. Argentina won 2-1. (AFP) -
- FORMER England defender and current coach of the TT men’s football team Terry Fenwick has hailed legendary Argentine footballer Diego Maradona as the greatest ever.
Maradona, 60, died on Wednesday in Argentina after a heart attack. He was discharged from hospital weeks ago after successful brain surgery. Arguably the greatest footballer of all time, the Argentine had health complications for a number of years.
Maradona made his full international debut at age 16, against Hungary, in 1977.
He was immortalised in world football after leading Argentina to the 1986 World Cup title in Mexico. He ended his career with 34 international goals in 91 appearances. His most memorable goal came against England in the quarter-finals of the 1986 World Cup, dribbling from his own half past several English players to score a sensational solo effort.
Fenwick, who was one of the Englishmen unable to stop Maradona that day, said on Wednesday, “I think he is the greatest that I have ever seen, absolutely, without a shadow of a doubt. He (has) done everything. He was invincible.”
Fenwick added, "He was capable of doing unbelievable things. He is still on record as scoring the best-ever goal in world football, which was against England – the second goal in the 2-1 win that they had.
"That match also included the infamous Hand of God goal scored by Maradona. The former Argentina captain punched the ball past England goalkeeper Peter Shilton and into the net. The handball was not spotted by the referee or linesmen, and the goal stood.
Fenwick said it took him several years to let go of the bitter feelings surrounding that goal.
"The Hand of God goal, where all Englishmen see him as a cheat...should not have stood, but as a player that played against him, he ruined my international career within 90 minutes that day. Not until many years later I recognised, 'Oh my God, Terry, you just played against the best player the world has ever seen in football.'
"And that's what he was, he was an unbelievable talent."
Fenwick added, “It is obviously a very sad day…when you’ve got somebody that is the best at their business in the world, they are always controversial, and this is a guy that’s had his issues off the field – but the beauty and the talents that he presented on the field of play!"
During an illustrious career, Maradona played for several prestigious clubs, including Barcelona, Napoli and Boca Juniors.
Fenwick said he transformed the clubs he represented. “He went to Barcelona, that was mid-table…and he won the title. He went to Napoli, Italy, that weren’t even on the map as far as football was concerned in Italy, and won the title.”
Paolo Rossi, Italian World Cup soccer hero, dies at 64
Italy's Paolo Rossi at the 1982 World Cup. (Action Images)
By Phil Davison Dec. 10, 2020 at 4:35 p.m. GMT-5 Paolo Rossi, then 25, became a national hero in Italy — and remained so all his life — when he helped the national soccer team to victory in the 1982 World Cup, played in Spain. The center forward, or striker, scored the first goal for the Azzurri (the Blues) in the final against West Germany as Italy triumphed, 3-1, at Santiago Bernabéu Stadium in Madrid.
The victory, Italy’s first in the World Cup since 1938, brought ecstasy to millions of Italian fans glued to their screens at home. Their country was beset by political and social unrest, but the success of their soccer team unleashed an outpouring of emotion and a badly needed feeling of joy and national unity.
That World Cup final goal, on July 11, 1982, was Mr. Rossi’s sixth of the tournament, winning him the Golden Boot as World Cup top scorer as well as the player of the tournament (equivalent of MVP).
AD Italy's Paolo Rossi, left, celebrates in 1982 after scoring the second goal for his team during its World Cup match against Brazil in Barcelona. Italy's Paolo Rossi, left, celebrates in 1982 after scoring the second goal for his team during its World Cup match against Brazil in Barcelona. (AP) Italian kids, even adults, rushed to buy blue Italian soccer jerseys bearing Mr. Rossi’s number 20 on the back. “Pablito,” as Italian fans nicknamed him, was also given the coveted Ballon d’Or (Golden Ball) as 1982 European player of the year, more recently dominated by the Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo, now of Juventus in Italy, and FC Barcelona’s Argentine wizard Lionel Messi. The respected U.K. magazine World Soccer also gave him its inaugural World Player of the Year award.
Mr. Rossi, 64, died Dec. 9 at a hospital in Siena, Italy, according to the Italian TV channel RAI Sport, where Mr. Rossi had worked as a soccer pundit. The channel cited Mr. Rossi’s family, which did not specify the cause of death.
That Mr. Rossi even got into the 1982 World Cup squad at the last minute was remarkable and fortunate — for him and, as it turned out, his country.
In 1980, he had been banned from soccer for three years after a match-fixing scandal, known as the Totonero (black-betting). He was accused of involvement but issued denials. At the time, he was one of the world’s highest-paid players, lining up for the club Perugia.
An investigation involving 13 teams in Italy’s two top leagues, Serie A and Serie B, found, among many other cases, that a match involving Perugia — a 2-2 draw with Avellino — had been fixed by a betting syndicate.
His ban was reduced to two years, by which time he had been signed by the Turin club Juventus, allowing Italy Manager Enzo Bearzot to include him in his 1982 World Cup squad.
Bearzot came under heavy criticism from the soccer-mad Italian media when Mr. Rossi looked unfit during the first three group matches. The Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport described the striker as “a ghost wandering aimlessly around the field.”
Bearzot stuck with him, however, in the next round for the crucial matches against two of the world’s greats, Argentina, reigning world champions at the time, and Brazil, already three-time champions and tournament favorites in 1982.
Italy beat Argentina, 2-1, shutting down the soccer marvel Diego Maradona, but it was in the riveting game against Brazil that Mr. Rossi erased memories of the match-fixing ban.
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It was July 5, 1982, in the Estadio Sarría, Barcelona. Every non-Italian lover of the “beautiful game” expected and wanted the magical Brazil side to win and go through to the semifinals. Not to be.
Mr. Rossi scored all three goals — a hat trick — as the Azzurri beat Brazil, 3-2, sending the soccer-crazy fans in the South American nation into shock and mourning. Many soccer writers have called it the greatest World Cup match ever.
Mr. Rossi later described that game, and Italy’s ultimate triumph over West Germany, as a “personal redemption” after the betting scandal.
He then scored both goals in Italy’s 2-0 win over Poland in the semifinals and, of course, another one in the final triumph against West Germany.
Paolo Rossi was born in Prato, northwest of Florence, on Sept. 23, 1956. He first came to the notice of big-team talent scouts as a prolific scorer for Vicenza, west of Venice. That earned him a move to Juventus, winning the European Cup in 1985.
Unlike most world-class players in modern times, he spent his entire club career in Italy, gaining two Serie A (the top league) titles. He also played for AC Milan and Verona.
Retiring in the late 1980s, he became a popular TV soccer pundit on Sky Sports and the Italian national broadcaster RAI.
His first marriage, to Simonetta Rizzato, ended in divorce. In 2010, he married Federica Cappelletti, a journalist. In addition to his wife, survivors include a son from Rizzato; two daughters from Cappelletti; and a brother.
In this file photo, Trinidad & Tobago's Clyde Leon (R) vies for the ball with Honduras' Osman Chavez during their FIFA World Cup South Africa-2010 qualifier match at Hasely Crawford stadium in Port of Spain on March 28, 2009 -
FORMER TT footballer Clyde Leon, 37, has died. The football fraternity on Wednesday remembered Leon as a humble servant to the game and a lively person around the national team.
The Trinidad and Tobago Football Association said it was sending "deepest and most heartfelt condolences to the family of former national men’s team midfielder Clyde Leon following his passing this (Wednesday) morning. Reports are that Clyde succumbed to a heart attack earlier today.”
Leon, 37, had 48 caps for the national team. At club level, Leon was a long-serving member of W Connection and worked as an assistant coach under Stuart Charles-Fevrier after retiring. He was a former student of Princes Town West Secondary School.
Leon is the third former TT footballer to die over the past year and a half before turning 40.
Shahdon Winchester died in a traffic accident in December, 2019 and former national Under-17 captain Roderick Anthony also died in a road accident in January 2020. Winchester was 27 and Anthony was 35.
Leon was also a former TT youth player and served as national Under-17 and Under-15 assistant coach.
Speaking more of his career, the TTFA media release said, “The former W Connection FC player won the TT Pro League title with the club in 2011/2012. His final (TT) appearance came in a Caribbean Cup qualifier against Suriname on November 16, 2012 at the Dwight Yorke Stadium (in Tobago).
“Clyde was a loyal and humble servant to football who has left some wonderful memories that will never fade from our hearts. May his gentle soul Rest in Peace.”
On Facebook W Connection wrote, “Loss never gets easier, no matter how many times we say Rest In Peace. We are absolutely heartbroken and devastated by the sudden passing of Clyde. He was a Savonetta boy through and through and his passing will leave a void amongst us. We wish to extend condolences to his family, loved ones and friends. Please keep them lifted in your prayers for strength and comfort during this difficult time…Clyde we will miss you. Fly high in Paradise.”
National men’s senior football coach Terry Fenwick told Newsday, “It’s awful news. My condolences to his family. Everyone I have spoken to said he was a lovely guy and a great player. (It is) terrible that he is gone so early in life, really sad.”
Fenwick, a former local club coach, added, “I coached against him number of times, so I know quite a bit about him. Obviously this is such a shock, but I am hoping that (the) football (fraternity) will rally.”
Densill Theobald, who played alongside Leon on the national team, said, “After hearing about the passing of Clyde from (former footballer and coach) Earl Jean this morning it just left me saddened and distraught, more so because we shared a very close relationship.”
Theobald said after their playing days they kept in contact and used to talk about football.
“It just shows we have to appreciate life and appreciate each other.”
On a lighter side, Theobald said, “I remember Clyde as someone who loved to talk…Clyde was one of those fellows who don’t like to rest. Besides not liking to rest (and) because of his nature of loving to talk, he would always walk around to someone room to find some kind of talk going on around football to get himself involved…when you see Clyde coming to your room, you used to run to your room quickly and lock the door so you could get your rest.”
Theobald also described Leon as humble.
On Twitter, former national player Kenwyne Jones said, “I’m heartbroken. Sleep in Peace Clyde.”
Jones, who posted a picture of Leon and himself, earlier tweeted, “Sleep in Peace Clyde…love you my brother.”
A post on Facebook by Leon’s old school said, “Clyde was near and dear to the school and his name still resonates with us up to today. During his time at our institution in the early 2000s he contributed significantly both to victories on the field in Secondary Schools football and in the life and the mood of the school off the field.”
The release, written by physical education teacher Robert Warner, described Leon as “a beautiful soul from the beautiful game.”