‘We want to play’

Jamaica Gleaner - - SPORTS - – S.F.

THOUGH GRIEVING the sud­den loss of cap­tain Do­minic James, 20-time ISSA/FLOW Man­ning Cup cham­pi­ons, St Ge­orge’s Col­lege, want to hon­our their fallen star by re­turn­ing to not just play, but de­feat Ex­cel­sior High School to­mor­row.

James, who died just shy of his 19th birth­day – Septem­ber 26 – was rep­re­sent­ing his school dur­ing a Man­ning Cup foot­ball game against Ex­cel­sior High School at Sta­dium East on Tues­day.

He col­lapsed within five min­utes after the game started and was later pro­nounced dead at the Univer­sity Hos­pi­tal of the West Indies.

Speak­ing in a touch­ing trib­ute at the Holy Trin­ity Cathe­dral in Kingston yes­ter­day, St Ge­orge’s Coach Neville ‘Ber­tis’ Bell said: “Don’t feel sorry for us, pray for us. We will make it, we will be strong.”

The player was af­fec­tion­ately re­ferred to as ‘Alessan­dro’, his mid­dle name, by Bell.

“I un­der­stand that there is a meet­ing to­day to de­cide not whether Man­ning Cup will go on. It will go on, but whether the game will be played this Fri­day,” Bell said.

“We want to play, his fa­ther and mother is not here. Ob­vi­ously, it was dif­fi­cult for them. I spoke to them this morn­ing and asked them what would Do­minic want. They said, ‘We want you to play’,” Bell con­tin­ued.

BIG IM­PACT

The long-time coach said it was an easy choice pro­mot­ing the de­ceased to cap­tain of the team this year. James had only trans­ferred to St Ge­orge’s Col­lege last year from Ja­maica Col­lege and had made a big im­pact on the Light Blues Man­ning Cup team.

“Ev­ery sin­gle year at the start of train­ing, I name about five cap­tains, and I tell them we will see who the leader is. It was easy this year. Ian Forbes, the team man­ager of Ja­maica Col­lege, thank you for send­ing him down to us. He was a bless­ing. St Ge­orge’s turned around and beat you last sea­son and Do­minic scored,” Bell re­flected.

The coach said thanks to all the schools who came down to pay their re­spects – Kingston Col­lege, Holy Trin­ity, Wolmer’s Boys’, Ex­cel­sior High and Cal­abar High.

“All the schools, good to see you. We want to beat you so badly, and we pray God will give us the strength to per­form to the best of our abil­ity, and what­ever hap­pens after that, we will see,” con­tin­ued Bell.

“I have to say thanks to Ex­cel­sior. They came to beat us, they were play­ing hard to beat us, but when it hap­pened, they hugged us, they cried with us, they prayed with us. We thank you so very much,” Bell shared.

“We want to play. It doesn’t mat­ter if we win or lose. It is not just about win­ning the com­pe­ti­tion, but one of the rea­sons we want to play is be­cause we are St Ge­orge’s Col­lege, we are strong, and yes, we will cry,” noted Bell, while call­ing for sup­port for the for­mer cap­tain’s par­ents.

“Do­minic is an only child. I can­not imag­ine what his mother and fa­ther are go­ing through right now. Let us be strong for them as we grieve,” stressed Bell.

IAN ALLEN/PHO­TOG­RA­PHER

St Ge­orge’s Col­lege head coach, Neville ‘Ber­tis’ Bell (right), con­soles mem­bers of the Man­ning Cup foot­ball team dur­ing de­vo­tion at the Holy Trin­ity Cathe­dral yes­ter­day morn­ing. This fol­lows the death of the school’s foot­ball team cap­tain, Do­minic James, dur­ing Tues­day’s Man­ning Cup match against Ex­cel­sior High. The game was called off. JAMES

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Jamaica

© PressReader. All rights reserved.