Thu | Dec 8, 2016

Constantine is dead

Published:Sunday | February 22, 2015 | 12:00 AMTony Becca
Constantine

Vester Constantine, the former Jamaica Defence Force, Cavalier, and Jamaica goalkeeper is dead.

He died in Montego Bay on Saturday, February 7, and will be buried on Tuesday, February 24.

A Grenadian who arrived in Jamaica in the 1960s as a member of the West India Regiment, Constantine became a Jamaican citizen before going on to captain the Jamaica football team.

He was also a good cricketer, an aggressive fast bowler who opened the bowling for the JDF's Senior Cup team in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

It was as a footballer that he was best known, however.

 

brilliant goalkeeper

 

Playing for Cavalier under coach and founder Leighton Duncan and in the company of some of the country's greatest footballers, including the famous twins, Art and Asher Welch, he will be remembered as one of the country's best goalkeepers.

He was a member of many victorious Cavalier teams, including the team of 1974, the one which defeated Elletson Flats 1-0 to win the Major League title and the team which included David Bernard Sr, Delroy 'Mutty' Scott, Roy Welch, Arthur Lattimore, David Burgess, Clarence Prendes, and the goalscorer Neville Oxford.

Constantine was an outstanding and brilliant goalkeeper, so much so that the older generation will rate him arguably in the company of Selwyn 'the Pirate of Port Royal' Murphy, along with Don Clarke of Railway, while later generations will probably put him in the class of the likes of Orville Edwards, Warren Barrett and Aaron Lawrence.

They would be right, but only when it comes to comparing him to Murphy.

Oxford remembered Constan-tine like this: "When Consie is in goal behind you, you only needed to score once and you were a winner."

He was a good man and a good sportsman, good enough to be rated only behind Murphy and to be selected as the goalkeeper on the Caribbean All Stars X1 in one of his many glorious seasons.