Tue, Jul

Akeem's chat with Sheldon Bateau

The now deceased Akeem Adams was optimistic about life just mere days before his passing on December 30th.

This, according to his longtime friend and teammate Sheldon Bateau who is now based in Belgium. Bateau, a member of the T&T Under 17 and Under 20 World Cup teams of 2007 and 2009, alongside Adams, disclosed contents of his last conversation with the player on December 25th. But even before that, Bateau revealed that Akeem told him that his (Bateau’s) father, Gilbert Bateau, Akeem’s trainer on the national youth teams for over five years, had paid him a visit at the Varosmajor Heart Clinic in Budapest where he had been warded since suffering a heart attack in September.

“Trainer was up here” Akeem wrote to Sheldon at 5:59pm on November 25th on the WhatsApp chat messenger.

“Who trainer?” Sheldon replied. “Ya father” Akeem responded three minutes later. “I dream dat or (what)”

The conversation continued in good spirits.

Sheldon: Lol. Probably that have you alive. Bad mind. (Gilbert Bateau’s approach to his workout with the players dating back to 2004.).

Akeem: Lol, I dream trainer up here next to me

Sheldon: Hmm well is a good thing you dream that. All them years of hearing him in your head.

In his final conversation with Akeem on Christmas Day, Bateau said they chatted briefly as he was about to board a flight to Port of Spain but he withheld that information from Akeem.

“I didn’t want to tell him because obviously that might have made him depressed and I wanted to just make sure he was in good spirits at the time,” Bateau told TTFA Media.

“We chatted for a while and he seemed really upbeat. Another time (while he was warded) I sent him a photo of a meal I had prepared. It was the first time I cooked curry and he was excited about it.”

Sheldon: “Could eat and talk?”

Akeem: Good man. Everything good.

Sheldon: Nice, nice, Body little weak or much stronger now?
Akeem: Na. I stronger. Everything good on my side.

Sheldon: Nice man that good to hear.

Sheldon's message on Christmas day read: "Merry Christmas my brother. Know it’s not the way you want it to be but thank God for life still”.

Those were his final words to the player that wore number 5 for Trinidad and Tobago.

“I was in the gym when I got the news on the phone that he died. For a moment I forgot where I was. I couldn’t function. I didn’t know what to do,” Bateau said.

“The night before I got the news that he had the stroke but I still thought at the time, okay, he’ll catch back himself. But then when I spoke to my manager (Humphrey Nijman) on the phone he told me he might be brain dead. Then my brother sent me a text that Akeem died. I confirmed it with my manager who was also the agent for Akeem. He is still in a mess at the moment. He was very close to Akeem,” Sheldon said.

“I was following a training program while I was back in Trinidad for the few days but I couldn’t continue after getting the news. Now I’m back in Belgium and I have to get focused again but he’s on my mind right through. I still feel like he’s going to show up later on,” Sheldon said.