FORMER TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO national footballer Angus Eve described it as a “massive loss” while friend and coaching counterpart Shawn Cooper tagged him as a “unique individual” who helped to create better young men for Trinidad and Tobago.
The legacy of Nigel “Grovy” Grovesnor—the Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) stalwart who impacted the lives of scores of young men over his 36-year career—is sure to be secured after his passing early yesterday morning, caused by complications from the Covid-19 he contracted last month.
And in the middle of the imbroglio swamping Trinidad and Tobago football that includes a FIFA suspension, he will be remembered even more fondly.
“In light of what is going on, (it is) a massive loss,” Eve, a national Under 23-coach, said. “‘Grovy’, as we all called him, had some (health issues) for awhile and I thought everybody really rallied around him because he had affected our lives in one way or the other —coached us, coached against us or given us advice or that kind of thing.”
Eve added Grovesnor, who turned 63 on Republic Day, was very instrumental in a lot of careers with the likes of Kenwyne Jones and Carlos Edwards, to name a few.
“I was fortunate to be able to coach alongside him and learn things from him .For me he has impacted at the administrative level because he was the North Zone president of Colleges League. That was where his passion was developing young people so that would be a massive loss for us especially where we have administrators these days only seeking their own interest and agendas. So he would be a massive loss as one of the people who cared about the children.”
Eve recalled how his relationship with Grovy developed from his playing days at Mucurapo Senior Comprehensive -- where he simultaneously praised his play and devised plans for his players to prevent Eve from scoring—to his coaching days when he got to know him more intimately through Grovey’s son involvement with the national U-23 team and their battles with Eve at the helm of Naparima College vs ST Anthony’s and Grovy’s final three years at QRC.
“So Grovy has been a part of my life from young to now and throughout my life and he is somebody who I will truly miss,” Eve ended.
Cooper, the Presentation College head coach, said he and Grovy developed a very close relationship despite an always-competitive nature when they faced each other on the field.
“Over a number of years we have gotten closer, exchanging ideas but I think Grovy has done Trinidad a wonderful service in terms of creating young men. I think he has impacted on a lot of young minds and I think he was more a father figure to me than a coach,” Cooper said.
He continued: “It is a great loss. He was really a standout in society. A lot of youngsters will be feeling heartbroken because he did a lot of good work in the community and at St Anthony’s College with those boys and then presently with QRC.
“He is a unique gentlemen. I don’t think there are much coaches around like Grovy, I think Grovy was more about the individual and the success and the development of the players after football than on football. So he was really creating young men for Trinidad and Tobago,” added Cooper.
Former St Anthony’s College player Abiola Clarence stated on his Twitter account: “This man was one of the most influential figures in my life. He was a teacher, coach, friend and father figure to myself and many others. We shared so many great memories together and I am forever thankful. My condolences goes out to the Grovesnor family. RIP #Grovey #Tigers
Jones was more terse on his Facebook page. “SIP (Sleep In Peace) Grovey, thank you a million times over #onceatigeralwaysatiger”
SOURCE: T&T Express