Some Of Trinidad & Tobago Greatest Football Players.

ASL Team. ECM Team. Falcons Team. San Fernando Strikers.
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San Fernando Strikers.jpg (46071 bytes)

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Photo: The core of the Maple squad that had very successful seasons between 1967 and '69. Back (left to right): Jean Mouttet, Peter Halfhide, Sedley Joseph, Noel Bovril. Middle: Ellis Sadaphal, Bobby Sookram, Ian de Bruin, Alvin Corneal, unidentified, Tyrone de la Bastide, Clevvy Caracciolo. Front: Ronald Woods, Kenny Furlonge, Paul Regis (coach).

Click here to visit the T&T squad that toured England in 1953.

Abdul Muhammad. Andy Aleong. Alvin Corneal. Auther Brown.
Alfred Charles. Andy Gray Allan Callender. Bobby Banfield.
Bert Neptune. Bede Wells. Bobby Sookram. Brian Williams.
Bert Grell. Clibert Lennard. Carlton Hinds. Carlton Franco.
Cax Baptiste. Clayton Morris. Conrad Remi. Curtis Morrell.
Dwight Yorke. Dennis Morgan. Dick Furlonge. Dudley Forster.
Dom Basil. pt-1 & pt-2. Doyle Griffits. Delbert Charleau. Everald Cummings.
Earl Carpenter. Earl Carter. Gerry Browne. Gerald Figeroux.
George Romano. Gordon Husbands. Henry Quanvie. Henry Denny.
Ivor Hart. Ian Clauzel. Ian Bain. Ivan Degouville.
Irvin Hippolyte. Joseph Daniel. John Granville. John Sutherland.
Joseph Gonzales. Kelvin Berrassa. Kelvin Barclay. Keston Nancoo.
Leon Carpette. Lincoln Phillips. Leroy DeLeon. Lawrence Rondon.
Leroy Spann. Leo Brewster. Mathew Nunes. Monty Douglas.
Noel Sammy Llewelyn. Neville Douglas. Natty Sealy. Peter Mitchell.
Putty Lewis. Raymond Moraldo. Russell Latapy. Raymond Roberts.
Richard Chinapoo. Rex Burnett. Ralph Grant. Russell Tesheira.
Son Baptiste. Shaka Hislop. Shay Seymour. Selris Figaro.
Steve Khan. Steve David. Selwyn Murren. Sedley Joseph.
Sydney Augustine. Tom "Pro" Phillip. Thor Schjolseth. Tyrone De La Bastide.
Warren Archibald. Wilfred Cave.    

Related  News:
23-Jun-2008 'The shot' ends 40 years of hurt.
23-Mar-2008 1966 World Cup defender De La Bastide passes on.
12-Mar-2008 Maple racks up 90 years of football ‘Government’
01-Dec-2007 From Strike Squad player to coach.
16-Jun-2007 Senior Spann sees Gold Cup as beneficial experience.
21-May-2007 Korea qualification ease Barber's Tabanca.
09-May-2007 Former national Footballer Jim Lowe passes on.
12-Apr-2007 Marcelle, Latapy team up for football academy on local soil.
08-Jan-2007 Exclusive in-depth interview with Leonson Lewis.
20-Nov-2006 Strike Squad get belated revenge.
12-Nov-2006 Momentous week for football.
04-Nov-2006 Strike Squad, US rematch on Nov 19.
10-Sept-2006 To SAVE our SOCCER.
30-Jun-2006 ‘Gally’ slams Leo’s no show.
08-Jun-2006 Warren Archibald tips T&T to win W/Cup.
25-May-2006 Haitian robbery… T&T cheated W/Cup spot.
23-May-2006 Fresh start… TTFA bow to schoolboys.
11-May-2006 T&T's World Cup Bow.
01-May-2006 Gally: My Biggest Goal In Coaching Is Still To Come.

09-Mar-2006 - An organisation called New Era Incorporated Company Limited (NEI) is planning “A Tribute to Legends of Soccer —  An Evening of Honour” at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo. ... More.

02-Feb-2006 - Brian Williams, the former Trinidad and Tobago defender wants to coach at a national level here in Trinidad and Tobago. But first he wants to garner the experience necessary before he can take on such a task. ... More.

01-Feb-2006 - When Carlos Oliveira scored the winning goal for Cuba against Romania way back at the 1938 FIFA World Cup™ in France, he could scarcely have imagined that this would be the high point for Caribbean football for more than half a century. ... More.

10-Jan-2006 - Soca Warriors Online member Gary "Palos" Pena exclusive interview with the great Carlton "The Gereral" Franco. ... More.

28-Dec-2005 - Soca Warriors Online member Gary "Palos" Pena exclusive interview with Strike Squad captain Clayton Morris. ... More.

15-Dec-2005 - Although they missed out on qualifying for the World Cup Finals back in 1973, surviving members of that famous team will be going to Germany next year. ... More.

24-Nov-2005 - The credit should be spread to many for nearly every team sporting success. But Leroy Spann is the primary father figure -- literally and symbolically -- of Trinidad and Tobago's first victorious World Cup qualifying campaign. ... More.

10-Nov-2005 - Leonson Lewis still stiffens up and swells his chest when he hears Trinidad and Tobago's national anthem played at the Hasely Crawford Stadium. Lewis, 38, misses the thrill of battle, the adrenaline rush that comes from important matches. And none come bigger than the games in the red, white and black strip. ... More.

09-Nov-2005 - Striker Stern John turned from villain to hero on October 12, when he scored two goals to lead T&T to a 2-1 victory over Mexico in the team’s final Concacaf World Cup qualifying match at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo. ... More.

04-Nov-2005 - Former Defence Force and national footballers Hutson "Barber" Charles, Kerry Jamerson and Ross Russell are all confident that Trinidad and Tobago can reach the FIFA World Cup Finals for the first time. ... More.

19-Oct-2005 - Footballers who are dropped from the national team are later ignored and left to pay to see the same match they were training for a few days ago! ... More.

11-Aug-2005 - Upon their departure for Connecticut on Friday for next Wednesday’s 2006 CONCACAF World Cup qualifier against the United States, this country’s Senior footballers will be off with some encouraging words from a couple players who were instrumental in setting up a point when the two countries clashed in a World Cup Qualifier in 1989. ... More.

02-Jan-2005 - Football fans and enthusiasts have been quietly voicing their displeasure at the present "state of affairs" of Trinidad and Tobago's football. ... More.

‘Football was our life’... says skipper Clayton Morris.

By: Gregory Trujillo - T&T Guardian.
09-Feb-2005 - When the whistle is blown at 3.30 pm today to signal the start of the 10-match final stage of the “Road to Germany” for T&T footballers, every “Man Jack” will be hoping that history doesn’t repeat itself.
Embedded in the minds of all — coaches and players, administrators and fans — will be the ill-fated day of November 19, 1989, when the “Strike Squad” made a boo-boo of their chances, losing by a lone goal when in search of a single point on the “Road to Italy” to qualify for their first ever World Cup.
Two key members who are constantly reliving those moments are coach and captain of the infamous “Strike Squad” as they were affectionally called — Everald “Gally” Cummings” and Clayton Morris.
“Almost every day now, I am approached and asked if I think this time we could make it to Germany,” said Morris. “However, the conversation always has a way of switching to November 19.”
“The moment the name ‘Strike Squad’ is mentioned, you would always hear a story of some incident or experience from that person of what they did on that the occasion.”
Morris recalled that T&T started the 1989 campaign with a 1-1 draw with Costa Rica at the National Stadium. Striker Philbert Jones scored the equaliser after the Costa Ricans went ahead.
He explained that while the atmosphere in the “Strike Squad” camp was one of comraderie, the players competed a lot with each other for a place on the final eleven.
Earl Carter and Michael Maurice traded places between the uprights.
While Morris and Dexter Francis were regulars in the backline Kelvin Jones competed for a place with Marvin Faustin and Dexter Lee with Brian Williams.
In the event of any of the six either not performing up to par or forced out through injury, waiting to grab a chance were substitutes Floyd Lawrence and Ricky Nelson.
The three main midfielders were Kerry Jamerson, Hutson Charles and Russell Latapy. Others competing for a place were Elliot Allen and Lawrence, who was the utility player on the side.
Veteran Leroy Spann was also a part of the team and his presence among the guys was very useful.
Jones, Leonson Lewis, Maurice Alibey and Dwight Yorke together with Marlon Morris and Adrian Fonrose were the players left with the responsibility of getting goals in attack.
“We played a 4-4-2 system to suit the players we had,” Morris pointed out.
Latapy, known as the “Little Magician,” was the playmaker in the middle.
Jameson’s role was one to sit behind Latapy and keep the bolt in the middle whether in attack or defence.
‘We had a good team. Everybody was focused and knew what they wanted to achieve.
“We trained twice a day in addition to sessions with physiotherapist Shirley Rudd-Ottley.
“The thing that really helped us to develop is the time we spent together as a group. We were together for a two-year period.
“Our life was just for the national team. We were totally committed to help the team to quality. Football was first. Everything else came second, including our families.”
Morris disclosed how tough it was after a match or training for the players to head back to camp instead of going home to their families.
“You could see the tears in your kids or wife’s eyes, knowing they would not be seeing you for another couple of days.”
“My daughter Claycia was three years old then. I could remember when it was time to jump on the bus and she came for a hug and kiss she would ask ‘daddy when you coming home?’
Morris also expressed his feeling that both the players and the nation weren’t prepared for the biggest day ever in local football on November 19.
“I think the whole nation wasn’t prepared for the occasion,” he noted. “The occasion was bigger than us, both the players and nation because when you look at it we all allowed our emotions to control our brain. People were so overwhelmed.”
The Petrotrin footballer admitted that having Cummings as coach, was a plus for the side.
“Gally demonstrated all the skill he wanted us to develop. He would do it and we would follow. That was an inspiration for us. It was one of the things that motivated us in training.
“A team is as strong as its weakest link and everybody was supposed to bring their individual skill or talent from God to the team. In the end, we all came away learning football in a structured way.
“What was interesting about Gally was that he had the passion to take us to greater heights.
“Many times in training when it got dark we did not want to stop training because of the energy he exerted.”
Morris, who himself had a stint as assistant coach before Bertille St Clair took over, felt that the contribution and sacrifice made by the players of the “Strike Squad” have gone unnoticed.
“We have not been utilised to help in the development of the game. Here it is that we are qualifying for a World Cup and we are not utilised.
“We were happy to have former national players come around — whether it was to give advice on a one-on-one basis or just to witness training.”

‘They can’t stop talking ‘bout us’ - coach Everald Cummings.

By: Gregory Trujillo - T&T Guardian.
09-Feb-2005 - People would never stop talking about the “Strike Squad”. This is the opinion of Everald “Gally” Cummings, the coach of the 1989 World Cup team who fans nicknamed the “Strike Squad.”
“We didn’t get the final reward but the entire programme was a success,” said Cummings in an interview during the week. “That’s why people would not stop talking about us.”
“I call it a whole movement,” he added. “I never experienced so much love for a football team. It went beyond the football field. It was bigger than the game.
Cummings was right. Engulfed in a “Sea of Red”, over 50,000 fans crammed into the National Stadium to get a peep of the infamous “Strike Squad” play the United States.
Several other thousands who turned up at the stadium unfortunately had to be turned away as gates had to be closed more than an hour before the kick-off.
Every single person in T&T got involved in some way — those who didn’t show up at the Queen’s Park Oval where there was a big screen chose to watch the action at home on television.
“During that period, I thought personally it was one of the happiest times I had seen T&T people expressing themselves,” stated Cummings.
“The team came at a time when there was a lot of strife in the country and the people got an opportunity to hold on to the “Strike Squad” as a saviour. We had to shoulder the burden of other people’s problems plus ours.”
“Gally” said that to date he has received at least 500 to 600 letters from people concerning the “Strike Squad”.
“Of the few that touched me was a 10-year-old girl telling me the ‘Strike Squad’ team was the greatest thing she had experieced. She vowed to tell her children and have her children tell their children.
“Another lady wrote that her son was in a motor vehicle accident and was paralysed from the waist down and he was upset with the whole world because of the injury.
“The ‘Strike Squad’ made him a new person. Just sitting before his televsion looking at the way we played, he started to move around again.”
Cummings pointed out that it was more than a football match against the US and for him as the coach it was beyond the goalpost.
“The ‘Strike Squad’ was such a success that it is a sad thing to hear people talk about them with negitive overtones.”
He said that he had the drive, enthusiasm and passion from 1973 in Haiti when he was part of the T&T team that was robbed from going to Germany.
He claimed that he was someone who loved the country and wanted to see it go forward to the world stage to achieve the success which eluded the 1973 team.
“One of the most important aspects I noticed when I took over the team was that there was a lack of professionalism and structure among the players and I instilled that.
“And at the same time, let the players know that if they wanted to be successful they had to believe in themselves and each other. And, also show a great deal of respect for the red, white and black flag.
“To this day, we have all maintained a love for each other that might never been experienced in a national team.
“Gally” pointed out that whatever decisions that were made were done as a team. “Not by the technical staff alone but the entire squad.”
“At no time at all anybody was left out of the decision making. We had a unification of purpose.
“At no time at all the players broke camp. They were comfortable with each other like a family.
“Whenever we went on a trip abroad it was football, football, football, football. Not shopping.
“I kept remining them they were not only representing football. They were also represnting all other sports and the 1.5 million population.
“When I first took the team and they showed me the national team colours and the style of uniform, I had it changed immediately.
“If you want people to feel special you have to treat them special, starting with uniformity.
“I was responsible for changing the style and sitting with sponsors Rossi and coming up with design which had a national flag on both sleeves.
“I saw the flag on each player shoulder as carrying the weight of the country on their shoulders. That had a significant effect on the players.”
Cummings, who played professionally for New York Cosmos in the MLS in the US, maintained that he kept 22 players at all times for a particular reason.
“We always had players on their toes because there was always somebody to replace them.
“I never trained 11 players alone because I had some young players with me waiting to be drafted.”
He outlined that in 1989 he had a Shell Caribbean team to play against St Kitts, St Vincent, Curacao and Grenada in addition to the “Strike Squad”.
“Our second team was beating those teams. We refused practice games against Jamaica at that time because we were at a higher level.”
“Back then, what I identified before placing a player in a position was to look at his biologicial individuality.
“The football that the Strike Squad played was attractive and entertaining. What I did was to let the players express themselves within the context of team play and use their creative abilities. All I did was to set up a proper structure of team play that would enhance their performance.
“November 19 was bigger than Independence Day. Everybody could still tell you exactly what they did on the day, “ he ended.

Clash of the Giants: John D/Mucurapo Class of '78 reunion...

By Garth Wattley - T&T Express Reporter.
27-Jan-2005 - It was an InterCol afternoon in 1978 to remember. Twenty-two schoolboys playing for the North Zone InterCol title had 18,000 people at the Queen's Park Oval, Port of Spain, on their feet.
The "Dread Dribbler", Ian Clauzel, put them there first. Collecting the ball from just over the half-way line, he turned with silky smoothness and proceeded to find the net from all of 35 yards: 1-0 to the 11 wearing Mucurapo Senior Comprehensive maroon.
The favourites, the new, radical saga boys of the Colleges Football League had laid down the gauntlet. But the 11 in John Donaldson Technical Institute white were prepared to run their run.
First, Dale Hinds, then Harmon Lucas countered the Clauzel strike and then the John D defence fought for their InterCol lives to preserve the victory for the defending champions, 2-1.
Memories of that battle are still fresh today.
"It was tension from the starting whistle to the final whistle," recalls Brent Cumberbatch who was in the John D back four that afternoon.
"You didn't want to make a mistake. Mucurapo was such a force to be reckoned with...It was one of the most difficult games to play...Clauzel was a guy who would take a ball out of the air and wrap it around you. He was that dangerous."
Clayton Morris, the future T&T football, "Strike Squad" captain-still a year away from wearing John D colours himself back then-was a captivated member of the crowd.
"It really was an incentive for me," he says. "The crowd, the level of skill, the level of commitment, the camaraderie between the teams, the whole atmosphere..."
Nearly 27 years later, Morris and Cumberbatch want to bring the good times back. To John D.
On February 3 from 3 p.m. on the training ground adjacent to the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Port of Spain, the surviving members of the two teams will be at the centre of a football and fun afternoon. They call it: "Clash of the Giants".
It is a "bring yuh cooler, bring yuh gears" lime; an outing for the John D and Compre football families, and they hope and expect, for the wider public too. It's an all inclusive affair, without a fee.
The cause is quite noble.
"We'd like to celebrate the positive effects of that era," explains Cumberbatch.
"It was an era where it was more love, more friendship, more camaraderie...What we got out of that game was long-lasting friendships...
"We also want to use this event as a launching pad to be an annual event, for it to also in the future be a revenue-generating event where we hope to create a fund to assist (needy) members of the initial circle." And...
"We also want to use the fund to be a forum where we can lobby to the Colleges League for the inclusion of the Technical Institutes back into the fold."
Ian Greene, now president of the Mucurapo Past Pupils Association, was on the Mucurapo substitutes bench in that famous game.
He's all for a revival of the old spirit and brotherhood.
"Even though we lost after scoring first," he remembers, "it really had that family, that camaraderie, that love and we still have it today...
"Even though Fatima were next door, as far as we were concerned at that time, our neighbours were John D. These were the people we embraced as the rivals, different to any other team. John D was up where we were getting."
Culturally the "ghetto boys" of the age, the two sets of players were often colleagues on national youth football and even minor league duty. And together, they helped to initiate the shift of power that took place in the 1970s, away from the traditional teams, playing in a style that was fresh and appealing. As a result, that '78 clash also drew out new fans, namely the urban grassroots publics of Belmont, Cocorite and environs.
But while Mucurapo are still among the elite of schools football, the John D golden era turned to brass as long ago as 1986 when the post-secondary, Technical Institutes were voted out of the schools league, because it was claimed, they held an unfair advantage.
For Cumberbatch and company, it's an injustice that has persisted for too long.
"We have been bombarded over the years by a lot of the players and friends of the teams to do something like this," Cumberbatch says.
"It has always been a sore point with many of us, with the Technical Institutes being excluded from the Colleges League and we believe that minimised the pool that the national team could have used to select players.
"You talking about the Alan Andersons, Clayton Morrises, Russell Latapys, Leonson Lewis; players like these have used that stage-the Technical Institutes-to really advance and look what they have contributed to the nation!"
Greene shares the John D view.
"We recognise the long-term effect of not having the younger players reach their full potential," he says. "We think stopping somebody playing football at 17 years from the era of the Colleges football is wasted talent. We think that something like this could bring to the realisation of the powers that be in the Colleges football fraternity and even the national fraternity to let the younger ones stay the extra year or two to develop themselves so that you could see them a bit more and look at their potential."
Cumberbatch contends that, "players who play soccer only actually fully mature between the age of 17 and 19. So Technical institutes are a necessity as far as I am concerned in the development of soccer in the country."
Few feel more passionately about the subject than Morris.
A qualified John D graduate and one of his country's most respected players ever, Morris is living testimony to Cumberbatch's argument.
Emphatically Morris says, two years can make a big difference in the progress of a young player. Especially when it comes to bridging the gap between junior and senior football.
"If you look at our present national team, we solely depending on the foreign-based players and that shouldn't be. We should be able to have players here falling into the national team and maintaining that level."
He uses self-reference to strengthen his case.
'If you look at the national team, you can't identify somebody to play a sweeper up to now. I retire since '92 and up to now, you can't say that player is a sweeper, or this man is a general controlling the midfield. So there is a gap."
The John D men do not feel the Pro League youth league adequately fills the void.
But the shortcomings, these men argue also, are not just technical.
That is why they feel a revival of the old spirit-for the benefit of the present generation-is so vital. That is why, amid the fun next Thursday, the group will also be honouring several of their mentors, men like coaches Noel Gonsalves and the late Victor "Sharky" Henry.
"He was a father, teacher, partner," Cumberbatch says of Gonsalves.
"We were actually playing for one another and we were all playing for the coach (in the '78 final)."
Next week, Cumberbatch, Morris and company will be playing for John D's future. The men in the '78 "Clash of the Giants":

Mucurapo: Glenon Foncette (goalkeeper), Novell Gittens (skipper), Kendall Reyes, Kenneth Vincent, Emmerson Dubisson, Philip Thomas (deceased), Randy Glasgow, Ian Clauzel, Eric White, Wendell "Tractor" Belgrave.

John D: John Nichols (goalkeeper) , Brent Cumberbatch, Ramos Carmona, Robert Elliot, Steve David, Carlis ":Pointy" Miguel, Alan Anderson (skipper), Joseph Bacchus, Lyle Skinner, Dale Hinds, Harmon Lucas.

Stern John passes Russell Latapy on World Cup charts.

By: Lasana Liburd in the UK.
26-Jun-2004 - Stern John’s one-sided love affair with the Dominican Republic continued on Sunday afternoon at Manny Ramjohn Stadium, Marabella. John’s 69th minute penalty settled the host nation’s nerves as Trinidad and Tobago emerged 4-0 winners after a goalless first half.
The “Soca Warriors” advance to the CONCACAF semifinal group stage on a 6-0 goal aggregate and join St Kitts-Nevis and the respective winners of match-ups between Mexico and Dominica and St Vincent and Nicaragua.
On the way, John recorded a personal milestone as he moved past ex-national stand-out and his former captain Russell Latapy on the all-time World Cup goal-scoring charts.
John has scored eight times in World Cup qualifying matches to place him behind former legend Steve David (16) and present captain Angus Eve (10). Still, John and David accumulated their goals in contrasting fashion.
It is worth noting that John has scored five times against the Dominican Republic—he marked his debut against the same modest football nation with a hattrick in 1996—with two qualifying goals against Honduras and one against Jamaica.
Although a detailed analysis of David’s returns is unavailable, the greater participation of Caribbean teams over the past decade has offered gross mismatches.
At present, for example, Bermudan striker John Nusum is the second highest scorer in the 2006 qualifying campaign with six goals as his nation whipped Montserrat 20-0 over two legs. Kittian Ian Lake has seven as St Kitts-Nevis mauled the US Virgin Islands 11-0 on aggregate.
Arnold Dwarika, who is yet to feature in T&T’s 2006 qualifying campaign, has five goals at this level but all against Caribbean opposition.
The China-based attacker tallied two penalties against the Dominican Republic and another against Haiti with two goals from open play against the Netherland Antilles.
In contrast, Jerren Nixon, who has regularly fallen out of favour with national coaches, has only two goals, but they came against Guatemala and away to Costa Rica in the 1998 World Cup qualifying campaign.
Nixon, who is now employed by Pro League outfit North East Stars, has not featured in the present campaign despite being the leading scorer at domestic level.
National coach Bertille St Clair will need his attackers to leave their calling cards regularly against stiffer opposition if the Soca Warriors are to realise their dream of a senior World Cup berth. Two legs against Mexico in the semi-final stage is a good place to start.

T&T World Cup Goal Scorers:

16—Steve David.
10—Angus Eve.
8—Stern John.
7—Russell Latapy.
6—Dwight Yorke.
5—Marvin Faustin, Noel Llewellyn, Arnold Dwarika, Marvin Andrews.
4—Hutson Charles.
3—Everald Cummings, Leonson Lewis, Nigel Pierre.
2—Andy Aleong, Leroy Spann, Ray Roberts, Philbert Jones, Kerry Jamerson, Anthony Rougier, Jerren Nixon.
1—Jeff Gellineau, Alvin Corneal, Bobby Sookram, Leo Brewster, Warren Archibald, Anthony Douglas, Leon Carpette, Selris Figaro, Adrian Fonrose, Anton Corneal, Brian Haynes, Reynold Carrington, Stokely Mason, Denzil Theobold, Jason Scotland, Scott Sealy.

How the present players got them:

Angus Eve (10)
[1998, 2002, 2006]
*--Dominican Republic (4), Canada (2), Netherland Antilles (2), Guatemala, Panama.

Stern John (8): [1998, 2002, 2006]
*--Dominican Republic (5) [1 penalty], Honduras (2), Jamaica.

Marvin Andrews (5): [1998, 2002, 2006]
*--Netherland Antilles (2), Haiti, Mexico, Dominican Republic.

Arnold Dwarika (5): [1998, 2002]
*--Dominican Republic (2) [2 pen], Netherland Antilles (2), Haiti [pen].

Nigel Pierre (3): [2002]
*--Panama 2 [1 pen], Dominican Republic.

Jerren Nixon (2): [1998]
*--Costa Rica, Guatemala.

Anthony Rougier (2): [1998, 2002, 2006]
*--Dominican Republic, Panama.

Stokely Mason (1): [1998, 2002]

Denzil Theobold (1): [2006]
*--Dominican Republic.

Jason Scotland (1): [2006]
*--Dominican Republic.

Scott Sealy (1): [2006]
*--Dominican Republic.

NB--Appearances and team sheets were unavailable before the 1998 World Cup qualifying campaign from which the Trinidad Express relied on their own statistics.

Pro League honours ex-T&T footballers.

By Kern De Freitas.
24-Jun-2004 - The Trinidad and Tobago Pro League will be calling on some top former national football players to assist in the development of the game within the country.
Pro League CEO Dexter Skeene expressed his confidence that the ex-nationals' expertise could be utilised in strengthening local football during a presentation yesterday to some of T&T's former football captains at the office of Pro League chairman, Larry Romany, on Woodford St, Queen's Park West.
Renowned players who represented and led T&T between the 1960s and the early 1990s, including Sedley Joseph, Ulric "Buggy" Haynes, Selris Figaro, Reynold George, Steve "Dark Horse" Pierre, Michael Maurice and Clayton Morris, each received a Pro League kit that also contained two season passes for all Pro League matches.
Also on the elite list but absent from yesterday's function were another former national captain Leon Carpette, as well as his more recent compatriot, Reynold Carrington.
Skeene was high in praise for the ex-national footballers.
"It was the least we could do to show our appreciation to players who gave their heart and soul to the country, and we thought it was the least we could do to show them that," said Skeene.
He added this was just the first step in honouring other ex-national players, taking into account the Pro League's resources, saying the nation's youth need role models to look up to. Skeene also indicated that the Pro League will be working on making the season pass a discount card, so that in addition to gaining access to matches, people will also see it as having additional benefits.
Pierre expressed his thanks for the token of recognition from the Pro League.
"Most of us played football for the game; now the players play for the money. This is a very nice thing for us to see people know who we are," he said.
According to Romany, the Pro League is also seeing this season as an opportunity to expand football, and bring it into the communities, and have planned to focus heavily on the knockout tournaments. "It is very difficult to get people out to the Sunday games without bringing the communities involved," said Romany.
He added that the Coaching Education Programme, which began in January and lasted 15 weeks, was being seen as a tool to be used for community programmes, especially for young children. Romany stated that the board members of the Pro League are very committed to making local professional football into something viable and were aiming to change and shape professional football, by getting people involved.
And Skeene concurred with Romany. "We are looking to go into the communities so that people will come back to give us feedback," he stated, "because football is about the people."

Russell Tesheira dies at 53.

By Gregory Trujillo.
15-Apr-2004 - In the midst of the joy the country was experiencing because of Brian Lara’s record breaking (400 Test runs) performance, sorrow showed its face in the untimely death at midnight on Monday of Russell Tesheira, a former national football captain.
Tesheira, aged 53, died at Gulf View Medical Centre in San Fernando where he was warded for a surgical procedure. The former St Mary’s College player was the vice president of Sales and Agencies Administration at CLICO and served the sport he loved in many ways.
“Russell served football in general as an exceptional person,” said T&T Football Federation president Oliver Camps. “He was a player when I was manager of the team that went to Haiti in 1973 and went on to be captain of the national team. “His performances were always exceptional. I will term him as a beautiful person to deal with. He had en excellent disposition and treated people with kindness at all times.” Tesheira, who was one of the best defenders the game has seen, did an excellent job as manager of the 2001 Under-17 national team that participated in the World Cup here.
On his job at CLICO he played a very important role, especially in public relations. “His death is a big loss to the entire community,” added Camps. “I take this opportunity on behalf of the football fraternity to offer my deepest sympathy to his family.”
Also thrown into mourning over the sudden death of Tesheira were members of the P&B Soccer School, an organisation which he helped with sponsorship, donations of football equipment and words of encouragement. The CLICO Executive delivered the feature address at one of the school’s prize-giving ceremonies, making a stirring plea to the students to aim for excellence. He praised the work of the school’s founders Michael Paul and Hilton Bailey. Paul described Tesheira as one who “maintained his roots, even though he made it to the top.” “He’ll be surely missed by P&B and the young footballers of Laventille,” Paul said. Peter Rampersad, who managed Tesheira when he was a member of Malvern, said that at one time “Tesh” was called “The Red Wall” because it was impossible to pass him. “I remember when we had to be constantly looking out the dressing room for him because he had a way of turning up just before the start of the game,” Rampersad pointed out.
His coach at Malvern, Robbie Greenidge said that he was not only a good footballer but very knowledgeable and disciplined. “I think he is a good role model for the youths of today,” he said.
Tesheira joined Malvern in 1973 and by 1977 he not only captained the side but his country. He was “Player of the Year in T&T in 1997.

Carlton 'Squeakie' Hinds..."Prince of Forwards."

By David Brewster - TnT Express."
26-Feb-2004 - It is the strong opinion of most of the stars of yesteryear that Carlton "Squeakie" Hinds remains the best local centre forward of all time.
Dozens of old-timers, including veteran former Guardian Sports editor Horace Gordon, have placed Hinds above even the England-based Tobagonian star Dwight Yorke, who played with distinction for Aston Villa and later Manchester United and is now a member of Blackburn Rovers' bunch. Gordon referred to Hinds as "indeed the Pele of Trinidad soccer".
He was nicknamed "Prince of Forwards", a name which stuck and remains intact five decades after he played his last big match for Trinidad and Tobago and his club Malvern.
Hinds was barely five feet seven inches, with a 138-pound bodyweight, but his lack of height and size were compensated by his ability to penetrate the toughest defence in the history of Trinidad and Tobago's football.
Those who saw him at his best, described him an artist on the soccer field. He was indeed a household name in local sport back in the 1940s.
But Shay Seymour, another great Trinidad footballer, who played alongside Hinds-both at home and during the historic Trinidad tour to Britain in 1953-insists that three months ago that he needed time to pick the T&T's best-ever forward.
After months of deliberation, Seymour, back home following an extensive sojourn in Britain, selected Yorke an No.1 on the all-time list of Trinidad and Tobago forwards.
Seymour, himself a dazzling centre forward, who played for Colts, yesterday awarded a "slight edge" in favour of Yorke, mainly on the strength of the Tobagonian's uncanny ability to strike, once on the ball.
"I saw Yorke in Britain when he played for Aston Villa, and again I saw him many times on television when he represented Manchester United. His positional play is quite good. He runs with great speed and that takes some doing. I'll put him slightly above 'Squeakie' because I believe Dwight has the potential to score more goals," says Seymour.
There was however, a loud "BUT" from the 73-year-old former professional who once played for Bury in England, and must have piled up over 100 goals for this country.
He argues that while Yorke would have scored more goals than Hinds, he thought that Hinds was a superior thinker on the field, and probably the country's best-ever deliverer of the ball. "But strictly as a forward and a goal-scorer I'll have to go with Yorke," he says.
Going back in time, Seymour talked about the many matches he played with and against Hinds, recalling that the Malvern wizard actually saw things on the field before they developed.
"He also knew what was going to happen and why and when," Seymour explained.
He continued: "Yorke is like this...He gets the ball, swings around and that's it...a goal. But Hinds is a bit different...He is always thinking and knows exactly what is going on in the field all the time."
Seymour. however, stressed that he was thoroughly against the idea of Yorke rejoining the national team, leading up to the coming World Cup in Germany.
He said there was no way the Tobago-born forward should be asked to return to a team once he announced his intention to retire from international football. "Why recall him now? Why not make room for someone else who wants the honour of representing his country?" he asked.
Hinds was born in Moruga, South Trinidad, on November 21, 1924, and was given the nickname "Squeakie" by the late Queen's Royal College principal Arthur C. Farrell. The name "Squeakie" was thrown at Hinds on his second day at QRC in 1936.
"Squeakie" was actually the name of Hinds' pet deer. In an essay on his pet, he explained he had given it the name "Squeakie" because of the squeaking sound it made.
Modern-day players like Russell Latapy, Yorke and Stern John may have certainly taken the game to a different level, but no Trinidadian has ever stamped his image on a local football field like Hinds.
Gordon, who also played in the Hinds era, got excited sometime ago when asked to talk about the versatile forward Gordon said Hinds was in a class all by himself: "He was the Latapy of his time," quickly pointing out that Hinds did not have to cope with refined defenders in the 1940s.
"In those days defenders did not pull back. They came charging like a hurricane with their steel-tipped boots.
"Hinds was up against more robust, raw defenders, not like today's calculated players. And when Hinds got the ball he had to manoeuvre it away from a player who ended up like a parasite," he said.
"I have seen him at his best. He was the mastermind of Malvern for years and he is indeed the Pele of Trinidad football."
Gordon says the dream of every player in those days was to play for Malvern alongside Hinds and other front-line players like "Putty" Lewis, Fedo Blake, Phil Douglin and Lio Lynch.
Gordon also spoke with passion of the club's second golden era which had produced a "cha cha cha "brand of soccer under Carlton Franco, Arthur "Jap" Brown, Clive "Santa" Niles and Kelvin Berassa.
"Cha cha cha" was a hit back in the 1960s when these skilful Malvern players would tantalise and confuse opponents by kicking and dribbling around the ball, imitating what the Harlem Globetrotters did in basketball. "Cha cha cha" even took the media by storm...there were those who loved it and those who disliked it. It irked popular sports commentator Raffie Knowles so much that he publicly called for the Malvernites to be banned.
Gordon says he had made his assessment of Hinds as No.1 after having seen players like Rex Burnett, Shay Seymour, Johnny Alkins, Paul Carr, Jeffrey "Night Singer" Stollmeyer, Rex Burnett, Noel "Sammy" Llewellyn, Steve David, Everald "Gally" Cummings, Russell Latapy and Yorke, in action.

T&T’s greatest-ever centre forward..Shay Seymour paved the way for Yorke, John.

By David Brewster.
03-Oct-2003 - Who is Trinidad and Tobago’s “greatest-ever centre forward”? Ask 20 local football fans under the age of 30 and the title will go to either Dwight Yorke or Stern John, two of our foreign-based football heroes.
But regardless of the performances by Yorke and John, regardless of the incredible goals scored at the highest level in UK soccer, it is puzzling that so many old stagers–over 75–remain faithful to the players of their generation.
There was an interesting argument this week on the Brian Lara Promenade, Port of Spain, where the “who is the greatest” discussion came up and, immediately, names like Sydney de Couteau, Freddie Farrell, Ken Galt, “Sonny” Brown, Ken Galt, Johnny Alkins and Shay Seymour popped up...ahead of even Yorke and John.
And Seymour was declared the best-ever over the past 55 years of local soccer.
It was as if the minds of the old timers were still trapped in what they called the golden age of T&T soccer back in the 1940s.
One veteran, Errol “Bird” Jefferson, once said openly that it would be a “dis-service” to the old brigade to even mention their names with the current crop.
The argument that Yorke, John and the new breed of local football millionaires on the world stage must have taken our soccer to a higher level, a new dimension, was dismissed.
But then arguing with any old time fan is like attempting to reason with an earthquake or hurricane.
Still etched in the memory of many players and fans of that era was the Seymour double against Maple.
The first was declared the “goal of the match” when Seymour got the ball in the “twinkling of an eye” off the feet of a defender and shot through a dense crowd of Maple players.
“I am certain that Seymour could not see the goal from where he shot. But being a natural forward, he had a mental picture of how things should be, quickly pounced on the ball, shot it to where he thought the far corner should be and...presto, goal,” was the description of the gem scored by Seymour.
The second item was termed a picture-perfect goal–a very lovely shot.
Again, Seymour wasted no time. He shot quick and sharp and Tim Joseph did not have a ghost of a chance in the Maple goal.
Also high on the discussion was the 1968 match between a Trinidad Amateur Football Association (TAFA) squad against their Arima counterparts, when a then 22-year-old Seymour, playing for the TAFA line-up, slammed three goals to push his tally for the season to 31.
Matthew Nunes and Carlton “Squeakie” Hinds scored the other two.
According to reports of the match, the Arima team never really looked dangerous against Joey Gonsalves’s men, who seemed to score almost at will in spite of the plucky efforts of Corbin, Carter and Essau Mohammed in the Arima defence.
Th Arima players tried hard to fight back but, in spite of some good work by their midfield, particularly Ralph Lathuellerie, the forwards muffed many fine chances through poor finishing. The match created great interest in the East.

The Teams Were:

TAFA–J. Gonsalves, J. Atwell, S. Dopson, C. Braithwaite, A, Joseph, C. Francis, C. Lewis, C. Hinds, S. Seymour, M. Nunes and T. Crichlow.

ARIMA AFA–J. Corbin, C. Carter, E. Mohammed, R. Lathuellerie, R. Cleveland, S. Charles, R. Boyce, I. Hollingsworth, E. Seifert, W. Hamilton and D. Chance.

Although football was his first love and brought him so much pleasure, Seymour was also a good cricketer.
It is worth noting that this versatile sportsman prefers to talk not about the feats he performed in the “beautiful game”, but in cricket.
The one that still brings him so much pride was the 111 he slammed for Siwel in the Bonanza first class series at the Queen’s Park Savannah.
Seymour shared the headlines that day with Trinidad and Tobago and West Indies captain Jeffrey Stollmeyer, who had recently returned home from the West Indies tour of Australia.
“Stollmeyer, Seymour hit 100s in Bonanza Series”, read the huge headline published in the Guardian the following day. The story takes pride of place in Seymour’s hefty scrapbook.
Seymour, then 23, was undefeated on 70 overnight against Police. His century included 11 fours. It was his first century ever. His previous highest score in first class cricket was 63, against Queen’s Park “B” in 1950.
He then went on to dismiss both Police opening batsmen with his fast medium deliveries and took a super catch to end Cedeno’s innings.
Back on the football field, there was the famous North versus South Red Cross Classic in 1949, when North recorded their eighth lien on the Red Cross trophy with a resounding 5-2 triumph over South at the Queen’s Park Savannah.
Seymour took goal-scoring honours, netting a magnificent double, while Robert “Chalkie” Hamel-Smith, Horace “Pepperwine” Lovelace and Rex Burnett scored one apiece.
Alvin Rodriguez and Ian “Big Chief” Sealey got on the scoresheet for South.
In spite of the heavy defeat, the Southerners were by no means disgraced, although they indulged in far too many short passes on the heavy Savannah ground.

The Teams Were:

NORTH–J. Gonsalves, S. Dopson, J. Atwell, V. Braithwaite, Allan Joseph, N. Winn, C. Lewis, R. Hamel-Smith, S, Seymour R. Burnett and H. Lovelace.

SOUTH–J. Thorpe, K. Akal, G. Parsons, D. Charleau, I. Seale, D. Griffith, W. Baird, H. Cox, A. Rodriguez, J. Steele and I. de Gourville.

It was stories like these and, of course, his successful career in England, which continue to make Seymour a “living legend” after displaying his magic more than 50 years ago.
But the Seymour story would always be linked with Yorke and the endless band of T&T professionals who left here in the ensuing years.
It was this dashing centre forward, and his teammate Matthew Nunes, who established Trinidad football in England, paving a lucrative road for the others to follow and to gain international stardom, wealth and fame.
Seymour and Nunes were members of that historic 1953 squad which toured England and later returned to take up professional contracts with Bury County.
Nunes, a brilliant inside left, resigned his job as a sanitary inspector with the City Council, while Seymour, an upholsterer, went on to study refrigeration engineering during his stint in the UK.
Only one Trinidad and Tobago footballer had played professionally in England previously. He was Alfred Charles, who, in the early 1930s, went up to play in the English Second Division.
Both Nunes and Seymour were strongly recommended to Bury by the great West Indies cricketer, Sir Frank Worrell, and they stayed at Worrell’s home in the early stages of their UK jaunt.
Seymour, now back home after a prolonged stay in the UK, was born in Belmont on November 13, 1929 and attended Belmont Boys RC School.
Like most Trinidad youngsters, he learnt the rudiments of the game in a rustic backyard setting.
His football began with a windball and his cricket he started with a coconut stem for a bat and a lime for a ball.

I'll Never Forget...Revenge of the country bookie.

By David Brewster.
21-Aug-2003 - The youngsters he has been working with recently at his camps at Mahaica and Port of Spain, see a clean-shaven man of 55 who they know as coach Leroy De Leon.
Their fathers though, probably know him as just “Dilly”. Like Mike, and Tiger, Sachin and Ronaldo, one name is sufficient for identification and for rousing deep passion.
In the context of Trinidad and Tobago football history, Leroy De Leon belongs in that club. His folk-hero status was established in the 1960s and ‘70s when his unique set of ball skills, winning record, and force of personality, captured the imagination of at least two generations. Whether he was wearing the green and gold of St Benedict’s College, the red and yellow of Point Fortin Civic Centre, or the red, black and white of the national team, he was a maker of memories with his quick feet and clever passes.
All who saw him will have their special Dilly story. For him too, there are a few outstanding ones.
He remembers the 1969 CONCACAF World Cup qualifying tournament in Costa Rica, not so much for the football—T&T finished out of the top spots—but for what happened afterwards.
“Here I am sitting in the auditorium and they are giving out awards and congratulating the teams that are going through and my name was called (as the MVP). It was a total surprise,” he tells me.
“I’m thinking, why are they calling me? We didn’t win anything, we didn’t even get close. But then again, looking back, I must have done something. I did accept it, and I don’t know where it is now, I gave it to my mom.”
On the field, Dilly also took special pleasure from silencing a famous voice.
Raffie Knowles, himself a legend in sports broadcasting, seemingly did not think much of the chances of the St Benedict’s side which De Leon led out against Fatima College in a 1960s Intercol tie on Fatima Ground, Mucurapo. And, in typical Raffie style, he did not keep his opinions to himself. But with five minutes to go in the match with Benedict’s down 0-1, it seemed that he had called it right. Captain Dilly thought otherwise.
“I remember Dick Furlonge, he was playing right wing at the time,” the man recalls. “He could not beat this defender, and I knew Dick to do it, so I was getting angry at him. I was the captain at the time, so I told him to come back and play midfield, I’ll go up top. Then Allan Cupid was the (Benedict’s) goalkeeper, he got a ball, and I ran in the (Benedict’s 18-yard box) and I said: ‘Give me the ball!’ He was getting ready to kick out the ball, but I said no, give me the ball... I was playing all over the field. Wherever the ball was, I was there. So I was in the defence, I took the ball and I just... There was no one in front of me as far as I was concerned... got in their 18, put it off to Archie (Warren Archibald), 1-1.
Dilly was not finished. Shortly before the final whistle: “Up the road again, almost the same spot. This time I won the ball, and I think Wilfred Cave scored the goal.”
The Fatima crowd were not the only ones left speechless by the turnaround.
“When I went home, my mom said they thought there was some emergency (with Raffie Knowles) because the radio went dead! She said they were playing with the knobs trying to figure out, we lose the station? Went dead!”
What Knowles and the fans witnessed that day, would be repeated oftentimes during those high-riding St Benedict’s days of Dilly, Archie and “Bound to Score” Cave.
In particular, De Leon, the playmaker, and his childhood colleague Archibald, the wing dazzler, had a special telepathy.
“We understood each other, De Leon explains. “It’s like watching Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen when they played. It’s almost the same thing.”
De Leon and Archibald also took their show onto a bigger stage.
The North vs South Classic of 1963, saw a 15-year-old De Leon and Archibald lining up for an unfancied South side against the star-studded town boys at the Queen’s Park Oval, Port of Spain.
Lincoln Phillips, Sedley Joseph, Tyrone de La Bastide, Charlie Spooner, Gerry Brown, Victor Gamaldo, Kelvin Berassa, Arthur “Jap” Brown were all household names and national players, playing for the northerners. The odds, like the crowd, seemed against South.
“Queen’s Park Oval was filled, and I would say 90 per cent was North people,” recalls De Leon.
And at 2-0 by half time, North were justifying those odds.
But then someone made a fatal mistake. He provoked Dilly.
“I was walking back to the dressing room... First to begin with, Raffie Knowles had an article on the papers saying that there was no way South could beat North with young De Leon and South is making a big mistake and blah, blah, blah. Anyway, one thing that really ticked me off as I was walking in, somebody called us Country Bookies. And I went in the dressing room, and I don’t remember who was coaching us at the time, I never listened to one word he said. In my mind, I couldn’t wait to get back on the field to show these guys what this Country Bookie could do. The level went from here to here (motioning with his hands). And we ended up beating them 4-2, we came back and scored four unanswered goals.
De Leon himself sparked the recovery. Spectacularly.
“Lincoln Phillips was in goal. He had a habit of coming out on the 18-yard line and directing traffic. And the ball came (just inside of the centre circle), and I shook one guy and I saw him standing there, and I hit it! I just beat one guy, took a touch, put it in the back (of the net).”
It was now Archibald’s turn to shine.
“Then Archie came down,” recalls De Leon. “I did my stuff, put it to Archie...put it in the back of the net... I don’t remember the rest.”
The scores were level, but the final result was now a formality.
He explains: “After I scored the first goal, I knew we were going to win the game. Archie and I, we looked at each other, and you could just feel it. You know you score a goal and you just know, we got ‘em now, we got ‘em. They were beating us, but they were not beating us. They had guys up top who could score goals. But we were beating them on the field but just couldn’t finish. But once we got the first one in, the floodgates opened.”
Displays like this one soon took De Leon onto the national team. Shortly after he turned 16, he made his debut as a substitute at the same Oval against a visiting Brazilian Under-23 team. T&T won 2-1 that day, and for De Leon, there were lasting benefits.
“It impacted my career greatly, because (St Benedict’s principal) Dom Basil Matthews ended up hiring a guy from Brazil (Americo Brunner) to coach. And when he came in, he kind of tamed my game a little bit. He said I didn’t have to run all over the field. When I got off the field, I should be mentally, not physically drained. He taught us how to move and when to move and why to move... My whole game changed.”
It was not long before Dilly was taking his show on the road to the fledgling North American Soccer League. He was to find new fame there.
The “Country Bookie” had gone big time.

THE 1953 Trinidad and Tobago football team (not in order) on arrival at a railway station to play against Torquay in England 50 years ago. The team played 14 matches on tour. GOALKEEPERS: (Capt) Joey Gonsalves, Pat Gomez. FULL BACKS: Syl Dopson, Gerry Parsons, John Atwell, Bernard Garcia. HALF BACKS: Doyle Griffith, Delbert Chaleau, Allan Joseph, Ian Seale, Conrad Braithwaite. FORWARDS: Carlton "Putty" Lewis, Carlton “Squeakie” Hinds, Paul Carr, Mathew Nunes, Shay Seymour, Horace “Pepperwine” Lovelace, Rex Burnett, Robert Hamel-Smith, Colin Agostini. OFFICIALS: Lt Comm Charles Hayward, president of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association; Vincent “Sonny” Brown (manager) and Eric James, secretary of the T&TFA.

Paving the way for Yorkes, Latapys.

By: David Brewster.
25-Jun-2003 - Fifty years ago (June 1953) a Trinidad and Tobago football contingent embarked on the steamer Golfito for a three-month tour to England to play 14 matches. It was easily the most ambitious venture since the sport was organised here in 1908.
The tour was a success. Displaying guts, determination and good football, the team won five matches, drew three and lost six, and climaxed the hectic tour by drawing two matches against the full strength of an English amateur squad.
So impressed were the English officials with the overall performance of the team that two players, Matthew Nunes and Shay Seymour, who scored seven goals on tour, accepted offers from a Lancashire country club to play professionally.
Full credit must be given to these two pioneers for helping pave the way for superstars like Dwight Yorke, Russell Latapy and Stern John, who firmly established T&T soccer in the United Kingdom.
Alfred Charles, of the defunct Everton Club in Port of Spain, was really the first Trini to take up a pro offer in the UK. This was back in 1935. Then there was Allan “Caracas” Joseph, who played as a pro in Caracas, Venezuela.
But the 1953 T&T team started it all and Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation adviser and FIFA vice president Jack Warner should see to it that the survivors of the historic tour are honoured in celebration of that 50th anniversary.
It is worth noting that when the team left here that afternoon in June, late Express Sports Editor Albert “Bootins” Alkins, then Sports Editor of the Guardian, commented that the trip was 30 years too late.
Alkins, who was also a top footballer, wrote that had they made the trip in 1923, 30 years earlier, it was quite possible that they would have been sailing “this evening” to Europe or elsewhere to oppose the world top teams.
Alkins argued that the Trinidad Amateur Football Association began operations in 1908 and after the first World War (1914-18), the local clubs learned a lot from Royal Sussex, stationed here, and the game flourished in Trinidad in the 1920s.
“Had there been a tour to England then it is definite that the experience gained would have helped our soccer to be more on a level with our cricket,” he wrote.
Alkins continued: “Today we are going to wish our players all the luck in their tour to England. May they win and may they learn, and may our ambassadors pave a way to bigger achievements”.
And that’s exactly what Seymour and Nunes achieved for future generations of Trinidad and Tobago footballers.
But it must have been a pulsating period in local football back in 1953. There was widespread coverage of the trip.
The British papers highlighted the arrival of June Gonsalves and Lola Hamel-Smith, who travelled 4,000 miles to see their husbands play soccer in England.
The girls actually arrived two days before the team and June was the first to greet her husband Joey (goalkeeper and captain), while Lola hugged and kissed her husband Robert, who played at inside right.
A 25-year-old Mrs June Gonsalves was quoted as saying “we will watch every match” as the T&T team, dressed in blue blazers and grey flannels, came ashore in the rain.
The Trinidadians were singing a calypso as the Golfito docked and of course the chief musician was “Syl” Dopson, the brilliant full back, who promised, or rather threatened, to compose a calypso on the first defeat of an English club.
Dopson kept to his word. He lashed out in song when the Trinidadians defeated Somerset 1-0 to win their first encounter.
The T&T squad lost their second match 7-3 to Dorset County, but according to reports, they gave the 7,000 English crowd a display of fast, open football and were unlucky to go under by such a large margin.
The Dorset side included six professionals from the Southern League team of Weymouth and it was the English stopper-style-defence with three backs which was the undoing of the tourists.
But one of the big victories on tour came with a 6-3 triumph against a strong Cornwall team. “It was not so much a matter of goals, that proclaimed the visitors superiority, but their speed, clever footwork and low effective passing. There was no doubt about the better side when at the end of a brilliant first half, Trinidad led 4-1”, wrote the British press.
Then came the 4-0 victory over Torquay. “Trinidad, playing determined, fast and intelligent football, thoroughly merited their fine 4-0 victory. Perhaps the two men of the match were George Webber, Torquay’s goalkeeper, and, without whom the home team might have found the goals against them reaching double figures, and the Trinidad left winger Earl Lovelace, who apart from being extremely fast, showed that he knew where the ball should be placed to do the most good”.
The Trinidadians also grabbed headlines by beating Illfracombe Town 2-0, and losing narrowly (2-1) to Barnstaple Town.
“T&T forwards hit the ball hard from all distances”, one headline read, followed by this paragraph: “In the first two or three matches, the Trinidadians were inclined to be slow in working the ball, and baffled by the English three-back style of play, but the visitors have now conquered these troubles and is more than holding its own against opponents”.

Steve David among finalists for US Hall of Fame.

By: Shaun Fuentes.
12-Mar-2003 - Former Trinidad and Tobago attacker Steve David is among is among 27 finalists for induction into the 2003 National Soccer Hall of Fame.
David is being honoured for his playing days for the Miami Toros, Los Angeles Aztecs, Detroit Express, California Surf, San Diego Sockers, San Jose Earthquakes from 1974-1981 in the North American Soccer League (NASL).
"We are recognizing the wonderful legacy of the North American Soccer League in 2003 and all the finalists are NASL Alumni," stated Will Lunn, President/CEO of the National Soccer Hall of Fame. "Over 2,500 players took part in the league from 1967 to 1984. Since the league ceased operations, 12 Players and 10 Builders have been inducted into the Hall of Fame. We believe it is important to add to that number to fully recognize the contributions of the NASL to history of soccer in America."
David played for Trinidad and Tobago and was an integral member of the Senior team which narrowly missed out on qualifying for the 1974 World Cup.
Among the other notable names up for induction include Brazilian Carlos Alberto who played for the New York Cosmos from 1977-1982, George Best (1976 - 1981, Los Angeles Aztecs, Fort Lauderdale Strikers, and San Jose Earthquakes), Johan Neeskens (Netherlands), 1979 - 1984, New York Cosmos and former Newcastle United player Ray Hudson.
The election of Hall of Famers in 2003 is being completed by a special committee consisting of already inducted NASL Hall of Famers and selected media who covered the league in its heyday. Of the 27 finalists, up to 7 will become Hall of Famers. Announcement of the Hall of Fame Class of 2003 is expected in June, while the Induction Weekend will commence in October.

Footballers honoured at SKHY awards.

Newsday Reports.
17-Jan-2003 - Four past national footballers were honoured at the recent Skeene/Hyacenth (SKHY) Football Institute’s third annual award ceremony.
The gala function was staged at the La Joya Sporting Complex, St Joseph, with Sedley Joseph, Bobby Sookram, Reynold George and Selris Figaro all receiving plaques for their contribution to national football as well as the work at SKHY.
Members of the SKHY programme received honours for Most Valuable Player, Most Disciplined and Most Improved in the various age groups.
And David John-Williams, owner of the W Connection football squad, delivered the feature address at the evening’s ceremony.
Glowing tribute was showered on the three ex-national football captains Joseph, Figaro and George, along with dashing Presentation striker of the 1960s Sookram.

Former national players to be honoured by football institute.

TnT Guardian Reports.
12-Dec-2002 - Four former national players will be honoured on Saturday at the third annual dinner and awards ceremony of the Skeene/Hyacenth Football Institute (SKHY) at the La Joya Gymnasium and Pool Area, Eastern Credit Union, St Joseph, from 6.30 pm.
They are Sedley Joseph, Bobby Sookram, Selris Figaro and Reynold George, all top players in the 1960s and 70s.
Prizes also will be distributed to SKHY players for their performances during the 2002 season.
David John-Williams, interim president of the Trinidad and Tobago Professional Football League and owner of top club Vibe CT 105 W Connection, will deliver the feature address at the function.
Meanwhile, American Denis Bohn, head coach of Lafayette University, will attend the second SKHY/Lucozade Sport International Christmas Camp which runs from next Monday to Friday on St Anthony’s College Ground, Westmoorings, from 8 am to 4 pm daily.
Bohn will be in search of prospective scholar athletes who are eligible to gain scholarships.
On his prior visit to Trinidad, Bohn selected Nkosi Aberdeen, who obtained a scholarship to attend Lafayette University.
The camp caters for boys and girls between the ages of five-19 years and each camper will receive a football, water bottle and T-shirt.
All participants will be exposed to a skill development programme, football tennis, football olympics, videos, lectures and games.

Strike Squad new Fruta Caribbean 7s kings.

TnT Newsday Reporting.
4-Nov-2002 - Strike Squad are the new kings of Fruta Caribbean Sevens Football.
They won the title and US$4,000 prize money when they edged St Clair’s Coaching School 1-0 at the Dwight Yorke Stadium, Bacolet, Tobago, on Saturday night.
A Larry Joseph goal after just 16 seconds of the kick off in the 30-minute game was enough to give Strike Squad victory.
And skipper Clayton “JD” Morris who led the 1989 Strike Squad to within one point of qualifying for World Cup Italia 90, was named Most Valuable Player, by a panel of referees and technical staff headed by ex-World Cup referee Douglas James.
Coaching School, the Tobago Football Association two-time champs collected the runners-up US$2,500 prize money at Saturday night’s prize distribution function at the Tobago Hilton Hotel.
Hope of St Vincent, last year’s winners, had to settle for the third prize of US$1,500 after shutting out Queen’s Park Rangers of Grenada 2-0 in the third place play off.
1976 Phoenix FC of Tobago made it a double for Trinidad and Tobago when they edged ROM of Grenada 3-2 to capture the Masters title and US$2,500.
The beaten finalists collected US$1,500.
But defender Barry Nixon of ROM was voted MVP of the Masters Division.
British Virgin Islands, despite not winning any games, were given the trophy for the Spirit of the Games.
According to tournament co-ordinator Anthony Harford, 17 teams from throughout the Caribbean competed at the games which were well attended.
And he announced next year’s series will be played off in neighbouring Barbados between November 7, 8 and 9.

Leroy De Leon wants to see more passion in T&T game.

Written By: Shaun Fuentes.
7-July-2002 - Former Trinidad and Tobago star striker Leroy De Leon is hoping that this country can return to the heights of CONCACAF through proper development and performance of national teams at the various levels.
During a recent interview with TTFF Media, De Leon, widely regarded as the most potent striker to ever don a national shirt, expressed concern over the recent string of disappointing results inspite of the fact that the country boasts some of the most talented players and top class facilities in the region.
He is also supporting the use of more local input in the coaching of national teams.
"We have a lot of talent in this country and what we need is local boys to take care of this country. I came here last year and looked at the 1-1 tie between Trinidad and Mexico and I personally thought that Mexico should have won the game.
"We had a guy from Scotland coaching the World Cup team, another from Yugoslavia and one from Nigeria coaching the Under 17 team. This wasn't right. We need more local people. I don't need to put these guys down because Porterfield is probably a great coach in Scotland and the one from Yugoslavia is also a great coach but they need to really understand our culture," said De Leon, a top goalscorer during the 1960s and 1970s.
Holding nothing against Brazilian Rene Simoes, De Leon preferred to see him working on the development of local coaches.
"We could bring him (Simoes) in to coach our coaches. We need to develop our soccer. You have a couple of problems which is firstly the passion for the game has gone some what. When we played there was no money involved, we played because of a love for the game.
"The other reason is when we played, we never pointed any fingers, we were a team and I didn't see the unity here. Looking back at the game versus the USA in 1989, I could remember looking at it from the States and saying that there is no way in hell that the USA should come here and beat us. My problem was that everybody was making excuses and that wasn't good. All we had to do was win and we went, get a draw and we were there. That sort of thing comes from nowhere but here. Last year was the same thing. It's like somebody coming into your home and robbing you. Will you allow them to just come in and rob you? Definitely not," said De Leon.
The former St Benedict's College star said that it was obvious times had changed and now there is an urgent need for locals to develop that passion again for the game.
"I am very disappointed with the football in Point Fortin. I remember growing up when it was a different sport. The game in this country has dropped in certain areas and Point Fortin is one of them. We need to focus on the Under 12 players and build from there. My passion was always football. All my football started here because the people of Point Fortin in my era had a passion for the game back then. We played football every single day. We did our chores at home and then it was off to the football field for the rest of the day."
Dwight Yorke in his last appearance for TnT against USA last year.
Saying he was disappointed with the premature ends of international careers by Dwight Yorke and Russell Latapy, especially at a time when their services were most needed, De Leon stressed on the importance of the Professional League and had a bit of advice for players donning the national shirt.
"We have a professional league here and some younger teams developing and that is a great thing but we need to build more on what we have. My problem is that once you put that red, white and black shirt on you must defend it at all costs," ended De Leon.

Lincoln Phillips ready to lead Soca Warriors.

28-May-2002 - A WEEK before Brazilian coach Rene Simoes officially vacates his post as Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation (T&TFF) technical director, former stand-out national goalkeeper Lincoln “Tiger” Phillips has announced his willingness to head the local technical staff.
Phillips, who was in Trinidad to head a CONCACAF goalkeeper coaching workshop which ended on Sunday, has lived in the United States for the past three decades and, at present, is employed by the United States Soccer Federation (USSF).
But the former Maple and Regiment player—widely regarded as the best goalkeeper the country has ever produced—insisted on Sunday that his heart has never left Trinidad and Tobago.
And he is ready to help the “Soca Warriors” forge a new identity in world football.
“I have always aspired to come back and coach at national level,” said Phillips. “I always thought the call would come.”
Phillips, a FIFA staff coach, has never been asked to serve in an official capacity by the T&TFF, although the former Queen’s Royal College (QRC) alumni is an influential person in the US game.
The 61-year-old coach has been employed by the USSF since 1980 after a successful career there as a player and coach, which started in 1968 with professional outfit, Baltimore Bays.
His move to the US came a year after helping the twin-island republic to the bronze medal in the 1967 Winnipeg Pan American Games where T&T stunned favourites Argentina 1-0 and upset Colombia 5-3.
Phillips later joined Washington Darts as player/coach, before taking over the reins at Maryland Bay and Howard University, where he introduced a string of local players, including Keith Look Loy, Dr Alvin Henderson and Ian Bain.
He is also the director of coaching for Prince Williams Soccer Club in Northern Virginia and Premier Development League (PDL) team, Chesapeake Athletic FC—owned by son, Sheldon.
However, the high point of Phillips’ coaching career was with the United States national team as an assistant coach in 1992 and 1993, under famous Yugoslav coach Bora Milutinovic, as the host nation prepared for the 1994 World Cup finals.
Milutinovic is the only coach to lead five different countries to the World Cup and he will be at the 2002 Korea/Japan tournament as the China technical director.
Phillips reckons that the experience gained with the US senior and Olympic team technical staff—when the Americans faced opponents such as Brazil, Italy, Germany, Portugal and England—will serve him well in the top local coaching job.
“I have coached and been a part of soccer at the highest level,” he said. “I know what it takes to win... I have been a winner all my life.”
Still, Phillips insisted he would only take the job if he receives the necessary tools and the conditions are right, with “everyone from president to groundsman” on the same page.
He explained that the infrastructure, support staff, funding and general attitude must be conducive to success.
“I must have the tools,” said Phillips, “because I’m coming to win. Or else I’m too old for this...
“There must be a real collective effort from everyone, including the press. Everyone is a part of the problem and everyone is a part of the answer.”
Should T&TFF president Oliver Camps overlook him, though, Phillips said he is willing to help in any capacity.
He told the Express that his inability to help his homeland, thus far, is the “biggest disappointment and regret” of his distinguished career.
“As a boy growing up,” he said, “I had (Cax) Baptiste and Joey Gonsalves to talk to, but who did those guys have (referring to ex-T&T goalie Michael Maurice and subsequent custodians). I had a lot to give but I was never given the opportunity...
“I believe that what is for me is for me. If God wants me to do it, he will open a door for me to do it. But there are other avenues through which I can give back...
“It would be nice to do it with the national team but, if not, I have no problem with that.”
Phillips had only praise for the CONCACAF workshop—spearheaded by technical administrator Richard Braithwaite—which allowed him to pass on valuable information to present and future goalkeeping coaches.
He was assisted by Maurice in carrying out the course, to pupils who included locals Ross Russell, Shurland Richards and Ken Francis and ex-Jamaica “Reggae Boyz” skipper Warren Barrett.
Phillips explained the course was the most successful he had ever conducted—including similar sessions in countries like Portugal and Finland—and expressed hope that his 25 students be allowed to progress by their respective football federations.
“We have to accept ourselves as being good,” he said. “We’ve been damaged for too long psychologically.”
He warned developing football countries to be wary of phony foreign coaches who make a living by duping “Third World” nations.
“When a foreigner comes with five or six coaches to work,” he said. “He is not coming to leave a legacy, he is coming to enslave. I have seen it, particularly in the Middle East...
“Beware of the foreign phony. But, if he is qualified and certified, then, yes, he can help.”
The T&TFF have hired seven foreign coaches over the last decade.
However, Phillips insisted his remarks were not meant as a criticism of Simoes or any of his foreign predecessors.
The T&TFF are expected to begin discussions about the hiring of a new technical director next month.

Strike Squad relive past glory.

T&T Express Reporting.
05-May-2002 - THE Trinidad and Tobago Strike Squad footballers of 1989 brought back memories of past glories when they scored a 4-1 victory over Playaz FC last Friday afternoon in the Point Fortin Borough Day exhibition match at Clifton Hill ground.
A rousing welcome greeted the former national footballers, who came within a point of qualifying for the 1990 World Cup in Italy.
Captain Clayton Morris led his teammates in their popular Rossi strip, similar to that of the 1989 period and they produced a fine display of football during an encounter reduced to 60 minutes due to the inclement weather conditions.
Goals by Marlon Morris, the first in the 23rd minute, Dexter Francis (33rd) and Philbert "Pamo" Jones (60th) did the trick for the Strike Squad.
Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation president Oliver Camps sat on the bench as team manager. Strike Squad coach Everald "Gally" Cummings was not present because of his commitments in the United States.
The Strike Squad starting line-up was a formidable one with Clayton Morris, Francis, Dexter Lee and Brian Williams in the backline. The midfield was manned by Leroy Spann, Kerry Jamerson, Morris (M) and Hutson Charles, while Marvin Faustin and Jones played up front.
Former national goalkeeper Shurland Richards—who was part of the team in early training—defended the goal in the first half, while Michael "Brow" Maurice took the gloves at the start of the second half.
Kelvin Jones, Floyd Lawrence and Richard Fraser sat on the bench and were all later involved in the action.
The Playaz team comprised players from Point Fortin.

TnT Strike Squad reunites in Point Fortin.

Written By: Shaun Fuentes.
02-May-2002 - The Trinidad and Tobago squad which came within one point of qualifying for the 1990 Italy World Cup Finals will reunite for the first time tomorrow since that qualifying campaign which ended on November 19, 1989.
From 3:30pm, the Mahaica Oval will be the stage for an exhibition match between the "Strike Squad" and a Point Fortin All Star team as part of the Borough Day celebrations. The Point team will include the likes of Reynold Carrington and Addison Belfon among others.
Following a call by "Strike Squad" captain and current national team assistant coach Clayton "Jb" Morris, several members of the squad have responded and will be in action tomorrow. The list includes defender Brian Williams, Dexter Francis, Dexter Lee, Maurice Alibey, Michael Maurice, Floyd Lawrence, Philbert Jones, Hutson Charles, Kerry Jamerson, Marlon Morris, Kerry Jamerson and the skipper.
Morris added that tomorrow's affair is the start of a campaign and plans are also being made to have Manchester United striker Dwight Yorke and Rangers midfielder Russell Latapy join the squad for similar outings in the future.
"This is the first time since 1989 that the squad of players will be coming together for a game. We are really looking forward to it. Since about five years now we have been trying to arrange this but it never got off the ground. Tomorrow is the ideal opportunity to make it happen and I can assure you that it is only the start of things to come. We are already making plans to have Dwight and Russell be part of the team for other matches," Morris told TTFF Media.
Morris said that the former players are keen to support the development of the local game in whichever way they can.
"We want to make our contribution to the overall development of the game. Now we are more experienced and we are willing to help in whatever way we can. This is what we are about and we want to start going around to all the communities as far as Toco and Manzanilla and spread the gospel of football. We feel that once you can get the people, especially the younger ones to get a taste of the history then it will help a lot in building the passion for the game," said Morris.
Morris thanked Petrotrin, Screentext Limited and Rossi Sportswear for their assistance to the team for tomorrow's encounter. Rossi will supply the team's uniform which will be a reproduction of the same strip worn by the "Strike Squad" during the 1990 qualifying campaign.
Tomorrow, TTFF President Oliver Camps, who was manager of the "Strike Squad" will also present a cheque to injured National Under 17 striker Nkosi Blackman, from the funds received at last month's charity match at Mahaica Oval.

Past footballers in memorial match.

T&T Guardian Reporting.
14-Feb-2002 - Players of yesteryear who represented the famous Blackpool in East Trinidad will be reunited on Sunday in the annual Cecil Rajah and Stephen Francis Memorial match on Blackpool ground, Aranguez, from 2.30 pm.
Four teams Pioneers (mid 50's and 60's), Middlemen (60's and 70's), Golden Oldies (70's and 80's) and Last Hooray (from the 80's) will contest 30 minute matches.
Some of the players expected on show will be Alvin Corneal, a former national coach and player, Mac Canterbury, Leslie and Lloyd Joseph, Douglas St Hill, Roy Joseph, Tony King, Stephen Gomez, Ken Rosemin, Arthur Douglas, Ronnie and Carl Jackson, Vernon and Ellis Sadaphal, Clarence Smith, Pat Alexis, Trevor Hospedales, Leroy Harper, Dexter Joseph, Anthony Dhanoolal, Alvin Thomas and Dexter Espinosa.
The trophy for the match was donated by Junior Gomez, who has been residing in Canada since 1974. He also played for Glenora and Providence.

Ian Clauzel.

Ex-nationals test Police.

T&T Guardian Reporting.
06-Feb-2002 - Former Trinidad and Tobago football captain Sedley Joseph and several other national players will line-up against a past Police XI in the annual match hosted by Trinidad and Tobago Police Sports Club on Saturday at St James Barracks, from 4 pm.
Also expected to take the field are Ron La Forest, Bobby Banfield, Charlie Spooner, Selris Figaro, Monty Douglas and Steve "Dark Horse" Pierre.
In the Police team will be goalkeeper Patrick Wilkinson, Leslie Wolfe, Monty Clark, Stephen Addison, Leroy Walkes, Felix Dennie, Norris Ferguson, David Campbell, Ralph "Arab" Nelson, Clyde deNoon, Desmond Baptiste, John Pilgrim and Arnim David.
The match will be held in honour of Leslie Marcelle, Thomas Billy and Muhammad Isa, three policemen who together have amassed 75 years of service to the Police Sports Club.

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