Football-loving Dean Fraser hits high note with 'One Love' awardThursday, February 25, 2021
JAMAICA's master saxophonist Dean Fraser was one of five musicians honoured by the Masters and Celebrities at what would have been the 40th staging of the Bob Marley One Love Football Festival on Ash Wednesday.
The annual festival, which usually features a number of celebrities, musicians and retired football players, was reduced to an awards ceremony during which Johnny Clarke, Robin “Jerry” Small, Cornel Campbell and Glendon “Admiral” Bailey were also recognised for their contribution to the entertainment industry.
Fraser could not hide his delight at being honoured for his work in music.
“I am really humbled and I really appreciate this award. It is so good for your peers to recognise you, the people who you see in the streets every day,” he said.
“Big up to Clive 'Busy' Campbell and his team, and I just want to tell them that I really and truly appreciate this award,” noted Fraser.
A lifelong fan of Boys' Town Football Club, Fraser spoke of having his “own seat” at National Stadium when games were played, as he reminisced about a time when fans packed the stadium to watch Premier League football.
“I really don't know a lot about the sport but I am a Boys' Town fan from the days of the great rivalries between Boys' Town and Harbour View.[That]was the heights of football in Jamaica,” Fraser said.
He also spoke of his desire to see a return of those types of crowds to the stadium to support local football once again.
“I just hope that the football would get back to that level. I am not talking about playing level, I am talking about support level, when people would just cram the stadium and make noise for their favourite team and you see magic happen. I just hope that it can go back to that.”
Back in those days Fraser would perform the national anthem before games, and he remembers distinctly having to dress appropriately before a Premier League final.
“During that time I used to play the national anthem at these matches, so it was a big thing. And I remember when I came out in red and yellow because I was playing the anthem with Boys' Town and Harbour View playing in the final. Those were great [and] exciting times. I really hope we can get back to that,” the outstanding instrumentalist said.
Fraser also expressed sadness at the effect COVID-19 has had on both the music and sporting industries, but advised that people should remain safe until the threat associated with the virus is a thing of the past.
“It's tragic, really and we just have to wait this out. It's rough on [our musicians] and it's rough on them [sportspeople] too. I hope it's not too long from now, but I just hope every man just keep safe and do the [social] distancing and regular hand wash and keep safe, because it's most important. I [am] just asking everybody to keep themselves safe and sound until it [virus] goes away,” he stated.
— Dwayne Richards
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