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Offline Tallman

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Big turnout as King laid to rest
« on: November 01, 2009, 07:07:54 AM »
Big turnout as King laid to rest
By Kern De Freitas (T&T Express)


If the impact of Leslie King could be measured by the turnout at his funeral service yesterday at Malabar RC Church, then the late former Trinidad and Tobago Olympic cyclist must have left his mark on the lives of many.

Members of the cycling fraternity, friends and relatives, other sporting figures and people from the Malabar community King came to know as home in the latter stages of his life packed the church to bid farewell to a sporting icon many felt was gone too soon.

The crowd spilled over into the driveway, which was also lined with bicycles, no doubt in tribute to a man to whom cycling offered so much.

Three weeks ago, King was in good spirits as he embarked on a trip to Venezuela as manager of T&T cyclists Elijah Greene and Haseem McLean, who had been invited for a series of bunch races. While there, he suffered a stroke, returning home once his condition had stabilised.

But on Wednesday, King, 59, succumbed to heart complications resulting from the stroke, mere hours before he was scheduled to undergo surgery at West Shore medical facility in Cocorite.

His eulogy, read by sister Leonora Robinson, portrayed a loving man, a caring brother, and a devoted father.

Father Christian Perreira, who performed the service, told the gathering King's life was one to celebrate.

"We are not burying a man...we are celebrating a dream," Perreira said.

Perreira appealed to the youth to work hard for success and to remember the "many people like Leslie" who helped them achieve it.

"Leslie had that fundamental human dream that life is not about me... That life is all about passing on the blessings that God had passed on to us."

Among those who attended the funeral were fellow T&T cycling great Roger Gibbon and other past and present cyclists including Gordon Carew, Gene Samuel, McLean and Greene among many others.

Also there were former T&T sportswoman Marjorie John, ex-national footballer and coach Everard "Gally" Cummings, ex-SPORTT (Sport Company of T&T) CEO and former Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs director Cecil Walker, as well as ex-Caribbean Football Union (CFU) general secretary Harold Taylor and Arima Mayor Adrian Cabralis.

Gibbon reminisced: "There were several occasions when Leslie pushed me to the limit (in competition), and he was junior to me, but with an abundance of potential.

"Many times, there was rivalry between us. We had a friendship, but not on the track. We were rivals and he was one of the best local competitors I've ever come up against."

King is survived by wife Susan and children Anson, Marcus, Tabitha and Dylan. He was the son of Antonia King and deceased Everald King, and was the brother of Norrie Robinson and Michael Massy.
The Conquering Lion of Judah shall break every chain.