Sun, Nov

Gally Cummings set to launch autobiography.

FORMER T&T coach and player Gally Cummings, 72, will soon release his highly anticipated autobiography. The book, Gally Cummings: The Autobiography, took three years to complete. The date of the launch has not yet been announced.

A media release from Gally’s Football Finishing School said the book offers some critical life lessons and is extremely timely as the country attempts to reset the administration of football. The autobiography provides football fans with an on-the-field view of some of the most exciting and extraordinary moments of T&T’s rich football history. Fans yearning for live football action can relive some of this country's glory moments.

“If they can’t see exciting and entertaining football, right now, in T&T, they can read about it,” said Cummings in the press release.

Gally Cummings: The Autobiography chronicles 60 years of football brilliance as it traces a trajectory of excellence in sport. It explores a legendary journey which began when an eight-year-old Cummings, considered a sports prodigy because of his natural talent, was selected from his primary school to represent the prestigious North Zone All Stars in zonal primary school competitions.

The book captures some of the most intriguing moments of football as Cummings recounts being selected, at 16, for the national senior team; his life as an 18-year-old pioneer of professional football in the US, playing with the Atlanta Chiefs in Georgia, during the heights of the Civil Rights Movement, in the 1960s; a championship career, in the North American Soccer League (NASL), with the New York Cosmos; and the spectacular performances and injustices he faced as the MVP of the 1973 CONCACAF Championships in Haiti. At the 1973 CONCACAF Championships, Cummings and his national team-mates had five goals infamously disallowed against Haiti and as a result fell two points shy of qualifying for the FIFA 1974 World Cup. It is considered one of the biggest regional football scandals that denied one of the greatest TT teams a place at football's biggest showpiece.

Cummings was also a star for Fatima in the Secondary Schools Football League. As national coach for the 1990 World Cup campaign. the Strike Squad fell agonisingly short of qualifying for the World Cup, drawing 1-0 against the US at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain.

T&T has recognised Cummings for his service to sport as he won the Chaconia Medal Silver in 1989 and the Hummingbird Medal Gold in 1974. The former midfield maestro, who has won multiple T&T Footballer of the Year Awards, has also given back to the next generation of footballers. In 2016, he launched Gally's Football Finishing School in an effort to develop the goalscoring ability of young footballers.

The autobiography is an extensive work that also examines his professional years playing in the Mexican Primera Division, exclusive details of his coaching career and culminates with his analysis of the current state of T&T football. It is described as a riveting and revolutionary story, at the intersection of professional sports, civil rights, players rights, and a vision for T&T football that united a nation.