Thu, Jun


HUMBLED and excited.

That's the reaction of Lincoln "Tiger" Phillips after being honoured as one of Trinidad and Tobago's "50 Greatest Legends of Sport 1962-2012", at Trinidad Hilton, Port of Spain on Thursday night.

After the gala tribute dinner for the past and present sportsmen, former national goalkeeper Phillips told the Express that T&T has been blessed with so many special sportsmen and footballers, making it a big honour for him to be named among them.

"There are so many great football players outside there, and to be singled out as one of the legends...we had great goalkeepers like Clive Burnett and Joey Gonsalves…all these guys that I thought were just fantastic. To get the honour, I'm just excited."

Phillips, who was the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation technical director and is now goalkeeper coach at Loyola University in Chicago, USA, said the school was just as excited that he was being honoured.

Said Phillips: "I showed them the letter, and they said 'no you have to go'. It was a big thing for them. To come back with Sedley [Joseph, former T&T captain] and [former West Indies footballer and cricketer] Willie Rodriguez and all these guys, it's extremely fantastic."

Phillip hailed organisers All Sport Promotions and managing director Anthony Harford for the tribute and for remembering T&T's stars, old and young.

"It's 50 years, we've won a lot of things, done a lot in sport, we went wrong with different mistakes we've made with adminstration and playing, but [still] we did very well. It's now for us to look back in retrospect and see those mistakes and wrong turns that we made and correct them.

"We've done really well despite some bad decisions," Phillips added, "but [we must] recognise that sport is a business with a bottom line. You have to consistently and constantly evaluate yourself and see if you're successful."

Joseph called the experience "rewarding".

"I certainly feel honoured that recognition has been given to sportsmen of the past, and 50 years is a long time. Most of us would have played in the 60s and the 70s," he said. "I'm hoping some of the youngsters coming up will emulate some of the past players, both in the team sport and individual sport."

The ex-keeper also hopes young sportsmen will find inspiration in the players that have gone before them.

"…Contrary to what a lot of the youngsters think nowadays, there were good sportsmen and sportswomen before these last few years," he said. "While it is true we won our second gold medal this year at the Olympics, we have a lot of good sportsmen over the period of time for which this function was held."