Former national football captain Sedley Joseph passed away yesterday at the Port-of-Spain General Hospital after he was admitted on Wednesday. He was 80.
One of the all-time greats of T&T football fraternity and Sports Hall of Famer was undergoing dialysis treatment for some time now due to kidney failure.
Joseph, who attended St Mary’s College, was a standout for Maple club in the 1960s. It was the efforts and leadership of Joseph that assisted Maple to reach the great heights of football in T&T, leading them to 28 trophies in nine years and was named T&T’s captain of the century.
Joseph captained Maple to success between 1960 and 1963, a four-year sweep of the same league title. His first class career began in 1959 and the following year he was made captain of Maple. His leadership qualities were evident and he became captain of T&T.
For eight years, he manned T&T’s midfield, making tours to Haiti, Suriname, Guyana, Barbados, Jamaica, Canada, Honduras and Costa Rica.
His first daughter Monique, told Guardian Media Sports yesterday: “We were preparing mentally because of how ill he was. We knew that this day would come. We knew that daddy was not going to make it and it was better he go and be at peace. It was a rough five years for the family. The family had a big birthday celebration for him in December and we are glad that we did that for him and with him.”
Joseph captained the national team from 1964 to 1968, and was also at the helm of the Port-of-Spain Football League for many years, during which time they won the title in competition with the other outstanding leagues.
In the ten years he captained Maple, the club won the league title seven times. Under his captaincy also, T&T won a bronze medal at the Pan American Games in Canada in 1967 and participated in the CONCACAF finals in Honduras the same year. Joseph was voted “Player of the Year” in T&T in 1967.
During his time as T&T captain, Joseph, who lived in Valsayn, this country made its first appearance in World Cup competition against Suriname in 1965.
The former T&T football manager earned the T&T Hummingbird Medal Gold for his service to sport in 2005 and was inducted into T&T’s Sports Hall of Fame in 1985.
His best friend Alvin Corneal said that: “He was much more than a footballer, he was my best friend and we played our footballing lives together. He was manager of the T&T football team when I was coach. We travelled all across the United States. His passing is a big shock to me and my family. He was a very encouraging captain on the field. He was never annoyed with anyone, he was a leader of men.”
The T&T Football Association (TTFA) in a release yesterday extended its deepest condolences to the family of the former Sports Editor at CT Tempo 105 Sports and football commentator following his passing.
“He displayed solid leadership skills while captaining his country and club. Respect is earned and he earned it deservingly due to his skills, dedication and leadership qualities.
“In this respect, Mr Joseph was a fine example to his fans and the public at large while he was actively engaged in sports and after retirement during which he served as a football commentator,” said the release.
“There are many values that local sports personalities and fellow Trinbagonians can learn from this legend. He worked hard to get success and he was true to his beliefs and virtues. And most importantly, his character, both on and off the field of play was exemplary. He has simply left behind a legacy worth emulating.
“Thank You Sedley Joseph for your years of service and dedication to the sport and to our country. You will be missed. May your Soul Rest in Peace.”
Joseph also received the FIFA Centennial Order of Merit in 2004 and the Humming Bird Medal Gold (for Sport) in 2005.
He leaves to mourn two daughters. His wife died five years ago and his only son died in 2017.
Honours for Sedley Joseph
2005 - T&T Humming Bird Medal Gold (for Sport)
2004 - FIFA Centennial Order of Merit
1985 - Inducted into T&T’s Sports Hall of Fame
1967 - T&T’s Footballer of the Year
SOURCE: T&T Guardian