JC's 'Dolphy': Blue through and true
A regular fixture around the Jamaica College (JC) football team, Othniel 'Dolphy' Gordon carries a presence that will never go unnoticed at the Old Hope Road institution.
An employee of the school for over 43 years, Gordon, who served as JC's groundsman for decades before retiring into his new role as equipment manager for the football team, has embraced this new lease on life.
"I am 63 and I am the equipment manager for the team, and that is what keeps me going. I've been working for 43 years, but I think I can go on," he said.
"My retirement starts in March, but with the encouragement I have been getting from the Old Boys, they tell me to just continue. I think I will go on, and I might be able to do another five years," Gordon added.
Gordon's love was not born out of any experiences at the school as a student; he was never enrolled there, but his commitment over the years and his passion for the school's football team, has been on frequent on display at JC games over the years.
"I did not attend the school. I just came as an ancillary staff member. Sometimes I feel so happy that I don't know what I would do without this school," he told The Gleaner.
His son did, however, attend the institution in 2002.
"I hope that my grandson, in the next two years, will be able to come to Jamaica College as well," he noted. "JC become a part of my life for the almost 44 years that I am here, I believe there is blue blood in my veins."
He said he was backed by influential JC Old Boys board members, who told him to continue at the school, joking that if he left, he would die of boredom.
Meanwhile, as equipment manger and football fan, Gordon believes JC can dominate the Manning Cup for years to come adding that the support of the past students will continue to bring success.
"Everywhere the team goes, I travel with them. The team makes me know most of Jamaica, which I know right now. If it weren't for them, I wouldn't be travelling all over the country, and they take me places that I didn't know," noted Gordon, who admitted that he was not an avid football fan before he arrived at JC.
He has lifted seven Manning Cup titles with the 'Dark Blues' but is also quick to remind everyone about the trophy-less 33-year spell that he team suffered.
"It makes me feel good knowing that long period of 30-odd years we have been disappointed, and now we find it. We want to dominate for the next 30 years, if that is possible," Gordon laughed.
JC won a fourth straight Manning Cup title last season and also capped the year with the Olivier Shield crown.