A man of many talents was how ex national goalkeeper Larry Loobie was described at his funeral service at the St Mary’s Anglican Church in Tacarigua, before he was laid to rest at the Tunapuna Cemetery last Friday.
Supporters and well wishers including former national striker Stern John and ex Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the T&T Cricket Board Forbes Persaud, packed the church mere hours before T&T was scheduled to face Costa Rica in a World Cup Qualifier at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Mucurapo—a match that Loobie would have been quizzed on for his expert advice.
Instead his sister Kheisha Nicholls, in eulogising his life, said he was a well-respected individual with talents in tennis, football and music which quickly made him his mother’s starboy. “He was the apple of mammie’s eye. He was the spoil one. Anything Larry asked for he got. I would swell up and complain as mummy gave her last dollar to ensure Larry always had the equipment and gear he needed for football.”
Before his untimely passing on November 6th from hyper tension resulting from complications due to gastic bypass surgery, Loobie, 41, began his sporting career in table tennis from the age of nine and was quickly spotted by coaches when he also decided to try his hand at football soon after.
This talent led him to many achievements as he became the first choice custodian for minor league teams Tunapuna Spain, Penta Pace Makers and House of Dread and could not be denied when Persaud and Trevor Spicer got their eyes on him at both El Dorado West and East Secondary Schools respectively.
Loobie later helped in guiding the T&T Under-15 football team to the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) title in Martinique in 1990 and continued his acrobatics in the goal up until the U-21 level and for his employers- the T&T Fire Service.
After his football days Loobie decided to act on his love for music by playing for Tropical Angel Harp for many years during Panorama. And when he was not playing pan, he was producing tracks which later propelled him to start his own mixology company known as Trakslasha Productions.
For all his sporting and musical achievements, however, Loobie’s true pride and joy came from the birth of his niece Rianne, whom he loved dearly and often filled the role of the father she always dreamt of.