"Football will stand together against these criminals"
That was the message from former National defender Brent Sancho as he spoke on the tragedy surrounding the family of T&T National goalkeeper Jan-Michael Williams.
The fiancee of Williams, Candice Worrell was brutally assaulted two weeks ago outside of her workplace in Couva. Candice, who is well known as a model and appears on Digicel billboards, was designated Miss Tourism Queen International in 2009 and represented Trinidad and Tobago in China.
She was found lying in a pool of blood outside of her place of work, Jenexcon Engineering, where she worked as a health and safety officer. After two weeks, Worrell is yet to regain consciousness and doctors fear that she may also have suffered some brain damage. They have rated her chances of survival as 50-50.
29 year old Worrell's injuries include a shattered cheekbone and her jaw has been broken in two places. The attack took place between 5pm and 5.25pm on Friday 20th January. Her white Blackberry Curve phone is missing, presumed stolen, along with her wallet.
Sancho, DIRECTV North East Stars C.E.O. said " This has shocked the whole club. Jan-Michael may play for one of our rivals, but football is a fraternity and our thoughts and prayers go out to Jan-Michael, his daughter Nevaeh and especially Candice."
North East players, Anton Wolfe and Charles Pollard presented Williams with a bouquet before W Connections Tuesday night game versus T&TEC. "Its not enough" said Sancho. "Nowhere near enough. But we wanted to show Jan-Michael that we are supporting him. We only heard of this incident through an article written by Lasana Liburd, which was posted on the socawarrior.net forum. We had seen nothing in the press or on television about this."
North East Stars Operations Director, Kevin Harrison has already begun to organise a fundraising effort amongst the football fraternity. " There's not much we can do to help" said Harrison "We just pray that Candice is strong enough to fight back. However, we are incensed that this matter has received no public exposure. The man that did this is still out there and the police have no leads. Someone must know who this man is. Somebody must have seen something."
Harrison and Sancho have set about raising funds to offer as a reward for information leading to the prosecution of the attacker. "Already we have had pledges from several sources including the 13 Soca Warriors currently fighting the court case against the Trinidad & Tobago Football Federation.
These guys understand the meaning of fighting adversity as a group and immediately responded to my request for a donation." Sancho said that North East Stars sponsors, DIRECTV had pledged to organise a collection at their offices. " Already, the generosity of people in and around football is outstanding. We understand that the website from which we learnt of this tragedy, Socawarriors.net, is also organising a collection from its worldwide football supporter membership. "
Harrison said "I will be writing to all Pro League clubs to ask them to organise collections from the players and will be requesting permission from the Pro League to organise a collection from supporters at Fridays matches. I spoke to several of W.Connections staff and they can't believe this has happened. The investigation doesn't seem to be making progress. We can't ease the pain of Candice and Jan-Michael, but we can do everything in our power to apprehend the thug who's responsible.
I'm hoping now that this story will be on every TV news programme and the front page of every paper. We need the public to come forward and assist the police. This man is still out there and no woman is safe until he is locked up. Its even more worrying with carnival approaching. What kind of coward would beat a woman like this? Our wives, girlfriends, mothers, sisters and daughters must be protected."
Anybody wishing to make a donation can contact Harrison by email at firstname.lastname@example.org