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Sat, Aug

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A TRULY sad day for T&T football.

Such was the sentiment shared by members of the national football fraternity on the untimely passing of W Connection and T&T striker, Shahdon Winchester, who was one of four fatalities in a vehicular accident on the South-bound lane of the Solomon Hochoy Highway in the vicinity of Gasparillo on Thursday morning.

Chairman of the T&T Pro League, Brent Sancho, expressed great sadness upon receipt of Winchester’s passing and sent heartfelt condolences to the footballer’s family, friends and teammates throughout both T&T and the globe. Although the 27-year old plied his domestic trade with W Connection, he also had stints with international clubs in Finland, Mexico and Azerbaijan.

“It’s still shocking to me,” said Sancho. “Our hearts go out to his family. He was a player that I felt was starting to come into his own and really showing his true qualities. It’s very unfortunate. Surely now, with this being the second road death in the football fraternity this year, it’s something I feel we have to work a bit closer with the authorities as it relates to road safety. We can’t afford to continuously lose our footballing gems like this.”

Sancho could help but to reflect on the May 30 passing of another former national footballer, Jason Marcano, via vehicular accident. The Central FC owner admitted the football fraternity had not yet fully recovered from Marcano’s death. Now, partnered with Thursday morning’s unwelcoming news, T&T football has plunged into further mourning.

“It comes on the backdrop of the death of Jason Marcano. Just when you thought we were getting back to normality, we have been dealt another big blow to the T&T Pro League and football as a whole. Most of the players and staff are lost for words. It has been a tough year for football, both on and off the field. This is not the way we wanted to end the year and it’s really is a tragic story. I hope that his family and close relative can find some form of console and get strength from it,” he added.

Meanwhile, W Connection chief executive officer Renee John-Williams, also paid tribute to the life and career of the former Naparima College stalwart. In a statement issued to the media on Thursday, John-Williams revealed the club is in deep grief. “There are no words that could accurately describe the way anyone of us at W Connection feel at this moment. We are devastated and heartbroken by Shahdon’s untimely passing. Shahdon grew up in W Connection from a young boy, starting from the inception of the youth programme in 2000. He was a true son, a brother and will forever be a Savonetta Boy and lifetime member.”

“He was a talented and dedicated player, our captain, a father, and it was an honour to watch his growth and achievements over the last two decades on a personal and professional level. We grieve along with his family and ask that they be kept in prayer during this time and beyond. His death has left a void in our hearts and we pray that comfort can be found in the many happy memories he helped to create.”

Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs, Shamfa Cudjoe, also sent condolences to Winchester’s family.

“Shahdon’s passing is truly a shock to the entire football fraternity, and by extension T&T. He was a true patriot and his passion and dedication to the sport of football would surely be remembered.

Trinidad and Tobago has, indeed, lost a gem. On behalf of the Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs, I extend sincerest condolences to his family and friends at this time. May he rest in peace.”


SOURCE: T&T Newsday