Camperdown alumni to honour ’82 Triple Crown football team
Less than 10 minutes before the final whistle, goalkeeper and vice-captain Nyron Prawl produced a moment of brilliance when he dived to his right in a flash, parrying the shot taken by Goyan Clarke from the penalty spot.
That spark propelled Camperdown High into the annals of schoolboy football. The game, actually, was the second leg of the Olivier Shield final, 33 years ago.
Cornwall College won the game 1-0, but lost 2-1 on aggregate.
Under the watchful eyes of coach Patrick 'Jackie' Walters, Camperdown became one of the very few schools to win the Triple Crown.
It is for that reason the Camperdown alumni will be recognising the all-conquering 1982 Manning Cup team, which was led by former Reggae Boy Peter 'Jair' Cargill.
President of the Camperdown alumni St Andrew Chapter, William Watson, confirmed that the team, along with former principal Jeff Brown (now deceased), will be honoured on October 24 at its annual awards function.
"Whether we were recognised earlier or later, it does not matter. The important thing is that I am really excited and happy, but very emotional because four members of that [team] are dead," said Andrew 'Bower' Hines, who paused for a moment, as he was on the brink of breaking down.
Those who died are Cargill, who went out in a motor vehicle accident; Barrington 'Cobra' Gaynor, who succumbed to illness; Carl 'Burro' Richards, who was killed by a policeman in a double murder-suicide incident; and just last year, Claude Palmer, who was the reserve goalkeeper. He was shot and killed by gunmen.
"Even though it is over 30 years ago, as a team we still keep close. We were tightly knitted, but Cargill was always our leader. He was a special player, one who trained harder than everybody. For me, it is really sad that these players are not around to be recognised personally," said Hines, who returned to Jamaica in 2004 and began his coaching stint on the local circuit.
For coach 'Jackie' Walters, the Camperdown 1982 team and the Glenmuir team of 2004 are the best teams he has coached in his career.
"The winning 1979 Camperdown team, with Errol Blake and Carlton 'Spider' Williams, was a more talented and mature team, but they did not achieve what the 1982 team did," admitted Walters.
Prawl, the man whose brilliance saved the day, said that season, only two goals were scored against them. Calabar scored one in the Manning Cup semi-final and Cornwall College in the Olivier Shield.
"We were like a professional team. Almost every game we won 2-0, taking the lead before half-time. But Peter (Cargill), he was our inspirational leader," said Prawl, who will celebrate his 50th birthday in November.
Richard 'Duck' Green, the left fullback at the time, stressed that nothing happens before the time.
"I am very happy, and beating Kingston College in the final was sweet for me," said Green, who played in the New York Brooklyn Masters League and does part-time coaching.
Christopher Bender, the school's current Manning Cup coach, who was then a midfielder on the 1982 team, is elated, and wants the younger players to adopt the positive attitude of players from the past.