On Sunday 17th June, 2007, Warrior Nation member Duane "FF" Pena and I had the opportunity to visit Marvin Andrews for an hour at his father’s house in Brooklyn. When we arrived the first thing we noticed was that Marvin did not seem as physically imposing as his nickname conveyed. However, based on our meeting and his dedication to his country and football, “Big” is a truly fitting description of the man’s character.
After inviting us in, we sat down and got right to business. I started by asking Marvin about the status of the impasse between T&T’s World Cup players and the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation (TTFF). He alluded that the TTFF remains adamant in their stance of non-negotiation and legal action seems imminent at this juncture. This pertinent but exhausted subject soon gravitated towards the importance of the Football Players Association of Trinidad and Tobago (FPATT), an organization to which he remains deeply committed, that has as its core objective, ensuring stable careers for future generations of T&T footballers. He went on to highlight the significance of FPATT in the national football arena by shedding light on some of the absurdities players face when donning the Red, White and Black.
He revealed that in T&T’s recently concluded Gold Cup™ appearance the players were promised the following compensation: $300 USD for a win, $200 USD for tie and $100 USD for just playing. On the basis of T&T’s results of zero wins and one draw in three matches one can draw the conclusion that our Warriors were supposed to net $400 USD each for their efforts in the Gold Cup™. Whether or not they received the total amount of their meager stipend subsequent to their quick exit in the Tournament is another story…to be told by the TTFF.
He further discussed the troubling circumstances surrounding national players injured during international matches. He used Cornell Glenn as a prime example of a player who severely injured his knee at the 2006 World Cup and has not received a penny or a phone call from the TTFF regarding the medical expenses incurred. As a result of his injury Cornell was released by LA Galaxy and is now battling his way back to full fitness at local club San Juan Jabloteh. Marvin also revealed that Cornell is having a very difficult recovery and is strongly apprehensive about representing T&T under the present conditions.
In our continued discussions about the state of our national senior football program, Marvin voiced his concern about the cohesion of T&T’s elite players, as the 2006 World Cup squad has not been together since last September. He added that this problem of disbanding teams that show promise for the future has plagued T&T football for many years, going as far back as the 2000 Gold Cup™ team and beyond. With T&T’s Under 17 team making their appearance on the World Stage this September, Marvin said he could only hope and pray that the same fate does not befall them.
Some other matters that arose in our meeting were the condition of his knee and his DVD entitled, “With God Nothing is Impossible”. Marvin said his knee is fine and last season he had no problems with it. We also learned that, contrary to what many of his fans may have thought, he was not injured or in any pain during the World Cup qualifiers.
Regarding his DVD, if you are a true Soca Warriors fan and you have not purchased Marvin’s DVD, I suggest that you get it. It’s a must have for your Soca Warriors memorabilia collection. This DVD documents the numerous successes of one of T&T's most celebrated defenders, his miraculous healing from career ending injuries, Marvin’s influence on the World Cup Warriors and his relationship with God. The DVD also features interviews from Russell Latapy, Dwight Yorke, Leo Beenhakker, Dennis Lawrence, Alex McLeish and many more.
Finally as our meeting was coming to a close, Marvin divulged to us that his decision to rejoin Raith Rovers last season was primarily influenced by the Almighty and as a result of this move his autobiography will be published in a few months with the full endorsement of the next Prime Minister of England, Gordon Brown - a huge Raith Rovers supporter. Even though he is happy to be at Rovers, Marvin indicated with a boyish grin on his face that he will be back in the “top flight” soon and is still willing and available as a player to help his country recapture the glory that was achieved in 2006. Who can doubt the path of a Warrior who’s truly blessed.
Also worthy of mention is that Marvin rates defenders such as Osei Telesford and Keyeno Thomas highly and still believes Kerwyn "Hardest" Jemmott has not reached his prime. Although he had to be corrected about Jemmott’s age (he thought he was 25), he is of the opinion that Hardest still has a lot to offer T&T football.
On behalf of the Warrior Nation and SocaWarriors.net I would like to extend our sincere gratitude to Marvin Andrews, for welcoming us into his family’s home and taking the time to discuss our favorite pastime. May you have continued success in all your future endeavors and may the Almighty Creator always guide and protect you.
Click here to purchase your autographed copy of Marvin Andrews’ “With God nothing is impossible” DVD.