Lindy Delapenha is deadThursday, January 26, 2017
KINGSTON, Jamaica — Lloyd Lindbergh "Lindy" Delapenha, the first Jamaican to play professional football in England and considered by his friends as "the consummate sportsman", died peacefully this morning.
The 89-year-old sporting legend died at 6:00 am at the Kingston home of his daughter, Marie Claire.
He had suffered a number of strokes recently and lost his speech two weeks ago.
Born on May 25, 1927 in Jamaica, "Lindy" attended the prestigious Munro College and Wolmer's High School. He played football, cricket and golf and was a top athlete at Boys' Champs in the 1930s competing in 13 events. However, his passion was horseracing and he rarely missed a race day until his health started deteriorating.
He broke the colour bar in England, being the first black player and played for three British clubs - Derby County, Middlesborough and Portsmouth - and was honoured by the Black Caucus in the United States for making that distinction.
His friend, Ali McNab, himself a former Jamaica footballer and top high school athlete, described him as "the consummate sportsman, who played not only football for Jamaica, but also played cricket, golf and was a tremendous schoolboy athlete".
McNab told OBSERVER ONLINE this morning that despite a full and energetic life into his eighties, Delapenha's health started deteriorating about five years ago, which led to frustration and him spending more time with his daughter.
A serious deterioration was detected over the last two months as he suffered multiple strokes and eventually lost his speech.
He is survived by his daughters Marie Claire and Linda, as well as grandchildren, including Miss Jamaica World 2008 Brittany Lyons.