MONTEGO BAY, St James — Clinton 'Wesso' King, the man who led Seba United to the National Premier League title in 1986, the first time a team from Western Jamaica was winning the national club championships, triggering a flood of titles, was laid to rest yesterday.
King, who died last month at age 65, was hailed as "an icon" and a "great motivator" among other accolades in a funeral service held at Jarrett Park, a place where he led his teams to many victories and titles in a career that spanned three decades.
The Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) honoured him in 2010 for his services to the game when FIFA president Joseph 'Sepp' Blatter at a function held in Kingston read a citation to him.
Captain Horace Burrell, president of the JFF said: "Jamaica's football is indebted to 'Wesso'... a father, friend and student of the beautiful game."
Many remembered King — who was a founding member of the team Beacon that was aligned to a local weekly newspaper by the same name before it was changed to Seba United, led the club through its most successful period in the mid-1980s to the mid-1990s — as a trusted friend and confidant and father figure.
Burrell said King's humble laid-back attitude belied an "unbelievable knowledge of the game".
JFF's second vice-president, Bruce Gaynor, said in a message read on his behalf by former football executive Lilly Mae Crawford that his meeting with King at a football game at Jarrett Park in 1985 "changed my life".
Gaynor said King's influence "moved Seba United to being the top club in the country", and said "Wesso meant a lot to his family members and to the wider Seba United family".
Omar Clarke, a former player, remembered the football guru as an effective motivator. "He did not use the fancy words, but knew how to get his message across... 'Wesso' never carried a grudge or malice towards any of his players and knew how to bring people together," he said.
Member of Parliament for Central St James Lloyd B Smith, who was a contemporary of King's and attended the same primary school, said it was important that the late coach's work not be forgotten or his legacy wasted.