Thu, Sep

Delbert Charleau

Delbert Charleau Nickname
Date of Birth January 26th, 1925 (age 98)
Place of Birth St. Madeleine, Trinidad and Tobago
Debut November 5th, 1947 (aged 22)
Caps/Goals10    ( 4 goals)
Last ClubUnited British Oilfields of Trinidad (1947-1964)
Previous Clubs

He grew up in St. Madeleine Village and whilst still a schoolboy aged 15 at the R. C. School, appeared for Rochford in the SAFA. Upon leaving school he joined Lanes and played at inside right, then moved to Carlton, a team made up of many Thomsons and Turtons. It was there he moved to the half line (right half) at which position he stayed for the rest of his career. In 1964 he received his first inter-league call, representing SAFA against archrivals SAFL at Skinner Park.

A good performance led to his selection for South v. North in the Red Cross classic and his play was instrumental in a convincing 3-0 South victory. It must have also impressed the officials of UBOT with whom he obtained employment before the start of the 1947 season. That year he made his national debut and played in all four matches- 2 each v. Guyana and Jamaica in a tournament won by Trinidad. The following year he went on tour of Suriname for a three match series which his team won, but for the visit by Haiti, the selectors opted for a team comprised entirely of North players and he was replaced by Julian Bolden at right half on a team which was unchanged throughout the tournament and remained for some inter-league games. They became known as the family eleven. When he was selected to tour Haiti in 1949, he grasped the opportunity in such fashion that the right half position was his thereafter, until retirement six years later. In 1950 Trinidad hosted a triangular tournament in which the local team played unbeaten against Curacao and Suriname. The next year he was on the squad, which made a successful tour of Guadeloupe.

By then he had formed liaisons both at club and national levels. Joined at left half by Doyle Griffith in both instances, they played with Ian 'Big Chief' Seale for UBOT, F.A. Champions in 1950, 1952 and 1954 and with Allan Joseph for Trinidad. That quartet was to visit England in 1953. But before that Delbert gained selection on the Caribbean Football Federation team, which assembled in Jamaica. It was the equivalent of a West Indies 'Test' cap. In addition to appearing for his league, zone and island at his fancied position, he developed another reputation. He was considered the 'spot kicker' for the teams and after being assigned with his first penalty in Paramaribo in 1948, when he obliged, was entrusted with that function subsequently. He never let his country down and disappointed his club only once when his shot struck an upright.

After retiring from club football in 1964 he coached UBOT during the following season then moved over to St. Benedict's College, La Romain for the ensuing four years. He also was coach to the Caroni team, which won the 1968 SFL Championships for the only time in the club's history. Except for the greying of his hair he looks much the same as he did during his playing days and had the satisfaction of seeing his daughter Heather represent Trinidad and Tobago in the Fifth World Netball Tournament in 1979.
(T&T Sports Hall of Fame bio)

Honors for Delbert
  • Trinidad & Tobago's Sports Hall of Fame in 1987