Tue, Sep


Mem­bers of T&T's fa­mous 'Strike Squad' foot­ball team, which came with­in a point of qual­i­fi­ca­tion to the 1990 FI­FA World Cup in Italy, are set form a guard of ho­n­our for Oliv­er Camps who died on New Year's Day at the age of 87.

Camps who was the man­ag­er of the team will be buried fol­low­ing a fu­ner­al ser­vice on Tues­day from 10:30 am at the St Fin­bar Ro­man Catholic Church, Morne Co­co Rd, Diego Mar­tin. Clay­ton Mor­ris, who led the team which played what was de­scribed by many as ex­cel­lent foot­ball un­der Camps as man­ag­er, and Ever­ald 'Gal­ly' Cum­mings as a coach, will again be the front­man at the farewell. Oth­er mem­bers such as de­fend­ers Bri­an Williams, Mar­vin Faustin, Floyd Lawrence and Dex­ter Fran­cis are ex­pect­ed to be there, along with mid­field­ers Hut­son Charles, Rus­sell Lat­apy, Leon­son Lewis and strik­ers Philbert Jones, Mau­rice Al­ibey and Mar­lon Mor­ris.

Yes­ter­day, Williams hailed Camps as a good per­son and a good man who played an im­por­tant role in the de­vel­op­ment of the sport of foot­ball over the years.

He said the one good thing about the man Oliv­er Camps was that he was some­one who sought to ad­dress the con­cerns of his play­ers. "He did a re­al­ly good job with the Strike Squad. He was some­one you could have ap­proached and he would lis­ten. He al­ways gave you a hear­ing and tried to en­sure that play­ers were as com­fort­able as pos­si­ble," Williams said.

Williams, a steady de­fend­er on the right side for Cum­mings' team, be­lieves Camps' hard work to progress the sport may have been done in vain, as he just missed out on los­ing his home and oth­er as­sets that amount­ed to $3.8 mil­lion in 2016. The amount was used to pay for­mer Dutch coach Wim Risjber­gen who took the then foot­ball fed­er­a­tion to court for un­paid salaries.

Camps worked as an in­sur­ance ex­ec­u­tive for Mar­itime Life for many years, but was al­so a fig­ure­head in lo­cal foot­ball, im­part­ing his knowl­edge and ex­pe­ri­ence in ad­min­is­tra­tion of the sport.

His ca­reer in the sport spanned for well over four decades from man­ag­ing the 1974 foot­ball team which scored five times but lost to Haiti 1-2 in a World Cup qual­i­fi­er. And then in 1989 when the Strike Squad was beat­en 1-0 by the Unit­ed States at the Na­tion­al Sta­di­um, need­ing just a point to qual­i­fy for the Italy World Cup.

SOURCE: T&T Guardian