Football fraternity pays tribute to slain footballer
Jedine Carr

WAYNE Thompson, president of the St Thomas Football Association, believes the country was robbed of another potential leader in Jedine Carr, as he added his voice to the cry to stem the crime monster while condemning the senseless murder of the former national youth player.

Carr, 18, a former national under-17 representative, was killed along with taxi driver Andrew Mullings by men posing as passengers as she made her way to training in St Thomas on Friday.

"Let me just use the opportunity to extend condolence to the family, a family that I've known for a while as we all grew up in the Heartese community. This is hurting because I know her mom would have lost another daughter about a year or so ago, so she is also struggling and the entire football fraternity mourns with her," Thompson told the Jamaica Observer.

"The idea is to use football to engender some level of order in our nation but what we have been exposed to in recent times is very sad because we are losing our athletes and potential leaders," he added.

Carr was part of a 15-member contingent that travelled to China to participate in the Chinese Football Development Exchange Programme in 2018.

She played Under-15 football for St Thomas and was called up to the Under-17 Reggae Girlz training squad. She was also a member of the Yallahs High School team which participated in the aborted ISSA schoolgirl competition in 2020.

Her most recent games were played with the Proven Girls Academy in the ISSA Construction 2022 Reinas Cup.

Having watched Carr grow into her game with some degree of maturity over the years, Thompson is convinced she was on course to making a name for herself in the sport.

"One of the things I admired about her was her ability to pull people around her. In fact, I can recall speaking to the team about her and I'm sure she would have been proud to be a part of that set-up where we had an opportunity to share with her and other young footballers.

"She would have been a part of the St Thomas Football Association and has done very well, and she certainly would have been inspiring some of the younger players — so she had that trait that convinced me that she was a leader in the making," Thompson noted.

"So we are bleeding at this time as a community and we are bleeding as a football fraternity because this is not the outcome we anticipated for our aspiring stars, this is not what we would have toiled day in and day out for," he lamented. "It is not easy. It's really a sad time for us and we are hoping that we will have a turnaround in terms of where our country is heading, because we need to protect our youngsters."

Thompson added that the St Thomas FA will be doing its part to support the family through this difficult period.

Meanwhile, Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) President Michael Ricketts also expressed sympathy and condolence to Carr's family.

Ricketts, who would have had to send heartfelt condolence to a number of football families — most recently to those close to Omar Laing who was also gunned down — has been vocal about the crime wave across the country and its effects on the football community.

"I call upon Jamaicans to stand up to this bulging monster called crime and fight against what now seems to be a passive acceptance of it," implored Ricketts.

"We are losing so many young and industrious people to gun violence. Jedine did everything right and was making big strides to brighten her future when her life was snuffed out. Profound condolence to her family, friends, teammates and the St Thomas Football Association. Please stay strong in these challenging times," Ricketts said.

Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Olivia Grange also expressed deep sadness at the player's untimely passing.

"The horrible death of Jedine has left me in total shock. It is so sad that Jedine, who was serving her country as a national player, should have had her life snuffed out even as the senior team, the Reggae Girlz, are seeking to qualify for the next World Cup finals.

"I extend my deepest sympathy to her family, her relatives, her teammates, her friends and associates and the football fraternity," Grange said.

BY SHERDON COWAN Observer writer

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