Honour those who served, build well on their legacy

Honour those who served, build well on their legacy

Monday, January 25, 2021

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THE loss of leading players Messrs Luton Shelton and Andrew Williams, as well as administrator Mr Maurice “Danny” Lyn, during the last week, has left Jamaica's football fraternity grief-stricken.

Most people probably won't remember Mr Williams, who represented Cavalier FC and Harbour View FC during the 1990s.

But the former midfielder, who died in the USA from complications related to diabetes, was an outstanding player credited with courage, intelligence, and exemplary leadership skills.

Mr Lyn was, for many years, the face of Constant Spring Football Club. He was the driving force as that club sought to develop a mini-stadium which included spectator seating and other upgrades, such as an improved playing surface.

Twinned to his role as administrator, Mr Lyn, who died in Canada midweek following a battle with cancer, was a humble servant of the Constant Spring community, constantly giving of himself to help and mentor young people, within and outside football. He was one of those personalities, never far away from people at the grass roots of the community.

We believe a tribute in memory of Mr Lyn by Jamaica Football Federation President Mr Michael Ricketts is right on target. Said Mr Ricketts: “He was active in every area of the sport [football], although coaching and mentoring were his passion. Danny contributed to the success and livelihood of countless youngsters over many years. The Constant Spring Football Club and the Constant Spring Football Field stand as monuments to his support of the beautiful game.”

We applaud Mr Lyn's brother, Mr Neville Lyn, for his pledge to “...do my best to try to keep Constant Spring alive, because I know that is what he [Maurice] would want”.

Mr Shelton, who died at age 35 from the degenerative amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) disease, which attacks the nervous system, will be remembered as being among Jamaica's more influential and successful footballers since the turn of the century.

The numbers bear this out. His 35 international goals — including four on début against St Martin at the National Stadium in 2004 while still a teenager — make him the leading goalscorer for Jamaica, outstripping the outstanding Mr Paul “Tegat” Davis.

Tall, lithe, strong, with speed to burn, Mr Shelton was a fearless dribbler who brought joy to those who watched him locally and on the professional circuit in Europe.

A star at Wolmer's Boys' School, Mr Shelton joined Harbour View FC as a youngster and on his return from professional stints abroad rejoined Harbour View as a player, before being diagnosed with ALS.

Overseas, his clubs included Helsinborg in Sweden, Sheffield United in England, Valerenga and Karabukspor in Norway, and Volga Nizhny Novgorod in Russia.

Even as illness took a mortal grip, Mr Shelton and his family made a vital contribution to the wider Jamaican society by sharing his experience of the little-known but deadly ALS. Here was a gesture that should not be discounted.

This newspaper joins all well-thinking Jamaicans in expressing our condolence to the relatives, friends, teammates, and associates of Messrs Williams, Shelton and Lyn.

We believe and recommend to the football fraternity that the best way to honour those who have served and passed on is to build well on their legacy.

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