Tue | Aug 14, 2018

Horace Burrell - what a man!

Published:Wednesday | June 28, 2017 | 12:00 AM


Captain Horace Burrell gave new meaning to the not-so-flattering phrase: Go to France. This he literally did in 1998 when he took with him the likes of Carl Brown, Jamaica's most successful coach to date, Warren Barrett, Theodore Whitmore, the ever-youthful Ricardo 'Bibi' Gardner, and a host of other courageous men dubbed the Reggae Boyz.

After graduation from Clarendon College, young Horace Burrell found his way to the St Elizabeth Technical High, at the time a new and pristine school that was half his age. There he made his mark on the fledgling cadet corps. There he left an indelible stamp on the camera club. In fact, it was Mr Burrell, as he was known back then, who prepared all the photos for the 1971 graduation magazine. The pictures were all black and white, but the entire school community praised Mr Burrell for his colourful input - except for one degge-degge student who felt that justice was not done to what he considered to be his handsome profile. Menacingly, he approached and inquired of the young staff member: "Sir, is this really me?" The photographer was quick on the draw: "The answer, my friend, is in the negative!" The friendship lasted a lifetime.

It was at STETHS that Mr Burrell met and married the beautiful Southfield teenager, Lourea Simpson, who later became the founder of Cake World.

The army was Captain Burrell's launching pad into the world of football. He was confident that he was destined for greatness in this arena, so much so that in the early 1990s, he told a young journalist: "Andrews, I am 45 and everything I put my hand to has succeeded; I'm going to take Jamaica to the next World Cup!" He did.

While we mourn the passing of the Captain who gave so much to his country in business and to sports, let us be thankful for life - his and ours.