Trib­utes f low for StGC cap­tain

Jamaica Gleaner - - SPORTS - Shayne Fairman Gleaner Writer

ST GE­ORGE’S Col­lege’s ISSA/FLOW Man­ning Cup foot­ball cap­tain Do­minic James, whose sud­den pass­ing shook the na­tion, yes­ter­day re­ceived larger-than-life trib­utes from the lo­cal foot­ball com­mu­nity and be­yond.

The Holy Trin­ity Cathe­dral was packed to ca­pac­ity, while scores stood out­side as the tear­ful at­tended the thanks­giv­ing de­vo­tion for the life of the fallen St Ge­orge’s player.

James was af­fec­tion­ately called ‘Delly’ by team­mates and friends, and ‘Alessan­dro’, after his mid­dle name, by coach Neville ‘Ber­tis’ Bell.

He died Tues­day while lead­ing his school against Ex­cel­sior High at Sta­dium East. He would have been 19 next Mon­day, Septem­ber 26.

Ac­cord­ing to St Ge­orge’s Head Boy Odane Lalor: “It shakes the school­boy pop­u­la­tion. It is the tragic loss of a foot­ball hero.

“He was seen as some­body who would have made a dif­fer­ence if he was with us,” he out­lined. “Delly’s smile was con­ta­gious.

“He is al­ways smil­ing, and happy birth­day when it comes, Delly. Keep on smil­ing,” Lalor told The Gleaner.

Act­ing Prin­ci­pal Dave Soares called the school mood “down­cast”, not­ing that “Do­minic will al­ways live in our hearts”.

“He was ... [an] avid foot­baller, good leader, so he will live in our hearts. Mov­ing for­ward, we will have to de­cide whether we have a me­mo­rial schol­ar­ship in his name, that’s in con­junc­tion with his par­ents, of course,” he ex­plained.

He was backed by old boy, Op­po­si­tion spokesper­son on ed­u­ca­tion, Ron­ald Th­waites, Mem­bers of St Ge­orge’s Col­lege’s Man­ning Cup team moved to tears after hear­ing the news of Do­minic James’ pass­ing, dur­ing the ISSA/FLOW Man­ning Cup foot­ball match against Ex­cel­sior High School at Sta­dium East on Tues­day.

who ac­knowl­edged the unity that “James’ death had brought”.

HON­OUR­ING JAMES

“It would be a good thing to en­dow a sports schol­ar­ship for the most dis­ci­plined stu­dent or some­thing in his hon­our. Do­ing that would be a con­sid­er­able re­mem­ber­ing,” out­lined Th­waites.

Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter and for­mer Ja­maica Col­lege prin­ci­pal, Ruel Reid, de­scribed James as “a stand­out stu­dent and leader in the class­room dur­ing his time at

JC”, prior to trans­fer­ring in 2014.

“For me, Do­minic died as a hero in his own way. May his soul rest in peace,” Reid said.

Newly in­stalled Ja­maica Teach­ers’ As­so­ci­a­tion (JTA) Pres­i­dent, Howard Isaacs paid trib­ute, while an in­con­solable goal­keeper, John Wil­son, said “cap­tain Do­minic is al­ways smil­ing, very hum­ble and im­por­tant to our team. I can’t be­lieve he is gone. The team is go­ing to miss him.”

Mean­while, for­mer Red Stripe Pre­mier League cham­pi­ons,

Water­house Foot­ball Club, of which James was a se­nior player dur­ing the 2014-15 sea­son, paid trib­ute. He also played for the club’s Un­der-20 team, win­ning the cham­pi­onship in 2014.

“To his par­ents and im­me­di­ate fam­ily, our hearts go out to you, and our con­do­lences to the en­tire St Ge­orge’s Col­lege team and wider school body,” said Dono­van White, club pres­i­dent.

Kingston and St An­drew Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion (KSAFA) and its af­fil­i­ates ex­tended “sin­cere con­do­lences to the fam­ily, school­mates and friends of the late Do­minic James at his sud­den and un­timely pass­ing.”

Stu­dents from St Ge­orge’s, neigh­bour­ing Kingston Col­lege and Holy Trin­ity High, Con­vent of Mercy Academy Al­pha, along with Wolmer’s Boys, Ex­cel­sior High, Ja­maica Col­lege, Cal­abar High and Bridge­port High School turned out yes­ter­day, along with a num­ber of other high school prin­ci­pals.

Carlo Red­wood, vice-pres­i­dent of mar­ket­ing for Man­ning Cup spon­sor FLOW, was also in at­ten­dance.

“Our thoughts are with Do­minic’s fam­ily, friends and the wider St Ge­orges Col­lege com­mu­nity at this time, and we ex­press our deep­est sym­pa­thies to them. We are very sad­dened by the pass­ing of this promis­ing young Ja­maican ta­lent,” a re­lease from FLOW said.

There was also so­cial-me­dia out­pour­ing on Face­book, In­sta­gram and Twit­ter, in­clud­ing past play­ers Gre­gory Mes­sam Jr, Chevon Stew­art, and oth­ers.

GLAD­STONE TAY­LOR/FREE­LANCE PHO­TOG­RA­PHER

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