Sport

Has anyone seen 'Dove' Marston?

Fears mount for missing former Jamaica footballer

BY HG HELPS Editor-at-Large

Tuesday, July 12, 2011    

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THE search continues in earnest for former Jamaica national footballer and talented schoolboy cricketer, Peter Marston.

Marston, nicknamed 'Dove' from his days at Vere Technical High School, went missing on Saturday, July 2.

He left his home in Portmore, St Catherine for an undisclosed location and has not been seen since. He is mentally challenged, but remains fairly in charge of his faculties.

Marston is regarded as one the fine talents that emerged during the early part of the 1970s.

Although spending his early years in Kingston where he was born and raised, he received a sports scholarship to Vere Technical High where he made his mark as an athlete of class.

As a cricketer, Marston played on the feared Vere Technical teams of the early to mid-1970s, and apart from winning the Headley Cup, symbol of rural area schoolboy cricket supremacy in 1973, the team also copped the Spaulding Cup for all-island supremacy, against the odds.

In the deciding match against a strong Kingston College team that was led by then Jamaica and later West Indies fast bowler Michael Holding, opener Marston batted through the innings in making a classy 126 not out and shared in a big century partnership for the second wicket with Herbert 'Dago' Gordon, who hit 101, as Vere made 290 all out, against six wickets for spinner Clifford Bell and one for Holding.

KC were bowled out for 230, despite a century from former Jamaica player Everett Whittingham, as the Clarendon team prevailed by 60 runs in fading light at Kensington Park, East Kingston.

But it was as a footballer that Marston imprinted his mark upon thousands of fans.

A specialist midfielder, Marston often left the opposition in a daze with his deft body swerves, effective dribbling, precision passing and intelligent reading of the game.

Apart from representing Jamaica, having been first called to the national squad as a schoolboy during the 1970s, Marston was also a part of the star-studded Santos Football Club during the period.

Marston won the rural area daCosta Cup and the all-island Olivier Shield at Vere and was seen as the closest talent to former national star Allan 'Skill' Cole, who many still rate as the finest football talent to have emerged from Jamaica.

Cole, who played with Marston at Santos upon his return from a professional stint in Brazil in the 1970s, is concerned for his friend's safety.

"He would normally come and check me at home, sometimes once a week, but I haven't seen him in a good while," Cole said yesterday.

"Dove deserves the best. He has his challenges, but he is a good person and I hope that nothing happens to him," Cole said.

Another former Jamaica player Neville Oxford expressed the hope that Marston will be found safely.

Oxford, a former Cavalier Soccer Club forward who left many defenders breathless, especially when he made his familiar runs down the right wing, said that a special effort should be made to find Marston.

"I hope that he is found in good state. If there is anything that I can do, I would do it for Dove," Oxford said.

"We played some good matches against each other. Ball control and distribution were his strengths and he was a relaxed player," Oxford recalled.

Several years ago Marston lost all his belongings in a fire at his home, an incident which some of those close to him believe eventually led to his mental instability, as a huge amount of his money also went up in smoke.

Marston has left home before, but not for such a long time, his close friends have said.

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