Thu, Dec

In the midst of the joy the country was experiencing because of Brian Lara’s record breaking (400 Test runs) performance, sorrow showed its face in the untimely death at midnight on Monday of Russell Tesheira, a former national football captain.

Tesheira, aged 53, died at Gulf View Medical Centre in San Fernando where he was warded for a surgical procedure.

The former St Mary’s College player was the vice president of Sales and Agencies Administration at CLICO and served the sport he loved in many ways.

“Russell served football in general as an exceptional person,” said T&T Football Federation president Oliver Camps.

“He was a player when I was manager of the team that went to Haiti in 1973 and went on to be captain of the national team.

“His performances were always exceptional. I will term him as a beautiful person to deal with. He had en excellent disposition and treated people with kindness at all times.”

Tesheira, who was one of the best defenders the game has seen, did an excellent job as manager of the 2001 Under-17 national team that participated in the World Cup here.

On his job at CLICO he played a very important role, especially in public relations.

“His death is a big loss to the entire community,” added Camps.

“I take this opportunity on behalf of the football fraternity to offer my deepest sympathy to his family.”

Also thrown into mourning over the sudden death of Tesheira were members of the P&B Soccer School, an organisation which he helped with sponsorship, donations of football equipment and words of encouragement.

The CLICO Executive delivered the feature address at one of the school’s prize-giving ceremonies, making a stirring plea to the students to aim for excellence. He praised the work of the school’s founders Michael Paul and Hilton Bailey.

Paul described Tesheira as one who “maintained his roots, even though he made it to the top.”

“He’ll be surely missed by P&B and the young footballers of Laventille,” Paul said.

Peter Rampersad, who managed Tesheira when he was a member of Malvern, said that at one time “Tesh” was called “The Red Wall” because it was impossible to pass him.

“I remember when we had to be constantly looking out the dressing room for him because he had a way of turning up just before the start of the game,” Rampersad pointed out.

His coach at Malvern, Robbie Greenidge said that he was not only a good footballer but very knowledgeable and disciplined.

“I think he is a good role model for the youths of today,” he said.

Tesheira joined Malvern in 1973 and by 1977 he not only captained the side but his country. He was “Player of the Year in T&T in 1997.