The Hyde clan’s love affair with sports
Former national football star, Lenworth Hyde Sr, is proud to have represented his country, and as a dad, is equally proud to see four of his six children follow in his footsteps and represent Jamaica in various sports.
Hyde, who first played for Jamaica as a youth in Under-19 from 1976, led the way for sons Lenworth Hyde Jr, Jamie and Jaheel, who all also played youth football for the country.
Jaheel, also a top international athlete, now represents Jamaica in the 400m hurdles and has competed at the Olympics. Another son, Julian, also played football at Ardenne high, and won medals in international equestrianism.
Hyde Sr told The Sunday Gleaner he was taught by his father to be there for his kids, and he never neglected the opportunity to spend time with them or visit them if they did not live with him.
He also believed his time around them had a major influence on them becoming international sportsmen.
“All of them grew up with me, they are always where I am. Even if they didn’t live with me, they would spend summers and I would visit them at school, so I was a part of their lives,” Hyde Sr said. “I grew up like that, my father was there for me, even though he died early. But what I learned with my father, and it was instilled in me, is that you have to take care of your kids. So I always try to be around them.”
Strong Football Influence
Hyde Sr noted that the football influence around him was strong, even long after his playing days, so it was easy for all of his children to get involved, and three out of the four (Lenworth Jr, Jamie and Jaheel) went on the represent Jamaica in youth football, although Jaheel switched to athletics.
Julian also had a knack for football. He was more into horses, and was tempted to follow the family’s football tradition. However, his father saw his true talent and pointed him in the right direction, something Julian remains grateful for.
“All my other brothers play football. When I was playing under-16 there were opportunities for me to go further in that (football), so it was something I had to sit down at that age and really make a decision on, and he told me to just go and ride. We have a lot of footballers in the family,” said Julian.
“So for me, personally, in my sport (equestrianism), he was one of them that pushed me to ride. My mother got me in it but he was the one who told me that if I want to ride, I should go and ride and make the most of it,” Julian recalled.
Julian admitted that they were always impressed with Hyde Sr’s celebrity status whenever they go out, and he admitted that that had a major influence on their outlook and aspirations as sportsmen.
“To grow up around that kind of influential person, it really gives you that spark in your eye. If it is even half of that (recognition), you are going to work hard to get it. It really put things into perspective and show that when you accomplish good things, how it can really impact and influence people around you. So we looked up to that and it gave me a little push at the same time, too,” he said.
Hyde Sr also admire the commitment and hard work his young ones put in to reach their goals, something he believes they also learned from him.
For Julian, what impresses them most about their father is his kindness and humility despite his status.
“The thing that stuck out for me was his humility. With all that he accomplished and all that he was, I don’t think that changed the person he was. Happy Father’s Day and lots of love. We hope to celebrate together, with everybody as a family, and that is my dream for the year to come,” Julian shared.