Captain of the 2001 Intercol Schools’ Football national title winning team of Princes Town Senior Secondary School, Clyde Leon, was supposed to bury me. I was not supposed to be burying him, as he has now shown his last red card.
News of the passing of Captain Clyde, as I fondly called him, at only 37 years old, hit me like a sudden, hard blow to the gut. The captain was a towering icon during the glory days of football for the sleepy little southern village of the “PTown Green Hornets”, as we called ourselves when I was fortunate enough to be an English teacher there at the turn of the millennium.
He was a hero without a cape or a disguise, being a very straightforward young man with whom what you saw was what you always got, with no frills attached. The captain’s disarming directness and his driving will to win made him the heart and soul of the football team, and the inspirational student leader of the whole school where he was our pride and joy.
Captain Clyde was a student’s student and a footballer’s footballer who grew to become a man’s man. It was the captain who taught me that there is truly such a person as a born leader. People just gathered themselves to him, both young and old, following him without asking much questions because of his magnetic personality.
He was a solid young man who drove the football team forward from the heart of the defence where he always made sure every player on his team did what he was supposed to do during each game, or else—as he led by example, finishing every single game with his tank empty.
Now his tank is truly empty, and my heart is full of many great memories of him.
Clyde’s fame in school boy’s football from his ferociousness in the tackle made him earn accolades as a stand-out national under-15 and under-17 footballer, even leading to national men’s senior team duties, where he put in a sound shift and was only just starting to show his value in the national football coaching fraternity when he passed away.
Captain Clyde, Princes Town is going to miss you although you hailed from Enterprise, Chaguanas. You will always be our captain, as I can now only say a heartfelt, “Come back, Captain Clyde!”
SOURCE: T&T Express