FALMOUTH, Trelawny - The Trelawny football fraternity has reacted with shock and disbelief at last week's tragic death of 42-year-old referee Horace Clarke, who was killed in a motor vehicle accident in Canada.
Clarke, a native of New Cargen in Trelawny had left the island for Canada to participate in the overseas employment programme just eight days before his untimely death.
First vice- president of the Trelawny Football Association (TFA) Marlene Brown, who described Clarke as "a jovial individual," said he was dedicated to the refereeing aspect of the game.
"In terms of officiating, his commitment was unquestionable. He was ready at anytime he was called," Brown emphasised.
She added that Clarke was also the coach for a football team in the New Cargen community.
According to Minister of Labour and Social Security Derrick Kellier, who expressed his sympathy to members of the deceased family, reports from liaison officers in Canada are that the incident took place last Thursday morning when the motor vehicle which was transporting Clarke and other colleagues to a farm was involved in an accident.
Clarke and nine of his colleagues reportedly sustained injuries and were taken to hospital where the referee was pronounced dead. The others were treated and later released.
Meanwhile, Aston Clarke, a brother of the deceased, told the Observer West that the referee died as a result of injuries he sustained after he was thrown through the windscreen of the bus in which they were travelling.
The vehicle, he said, was owned by the farm to which his brother was employed.
Wife of the deceased Kareen Speid Clarke was visibly shaken when she spoke with the Observer West at their home in Bounty Hall, Trelawny on the weekend. She said the wife of one of her husband's colleague, informed her of the tragic accident.
The bereaved wife disclosed that for the past six years her husband has been travelling to Canada under the overseas employment programme.
She revealed that among her husband's plans were to complete their home and to finance the education of their seven-year-old son, Horace Jnr and his 16-year-old daughter, Shadae.
The distressed wife and her daughter had to seek medical attention when news broke of the referee's death.
" I can't describe how I feel, honest to God. He was the bread winner for the family...... he is going to be sadly missed," she bemoaned.