Barrington 'Cobra' Gaynor dead at age 45
Robert Bailey, Gleaner Writer
Tributes have been pouring in for former national football player Barrington 'Cobra' Gaynor, who died yesterday morning at Westchester Medical Centre in the United States, after a long battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), more commonly known as the Lou Gehrig's disease.
Gaynor, 45, was diagnosed with the disease in 2008, and had been wheelchair bound since.
Captain Horace Burrell, president of the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF), said in a release yesterday, that Gaynor's death was a massive blow for local football.
"He was a talented footballer who gave his all at every level of the sport that he played or coached, both in Jamaica and overseas.
"He stands very tall in my eyes and will be sadly missed by the entire football and sporting fraternity."
Rudolph Speid, president of the Kingston and St Andrew Football Association (KSAFA), said Gaynor will be sadly missed by all.
"Barrington Gaynor was one of the most genuine persons that has ever played the game," said Speid.
"He was always willing to get in the middle to resolve conflicts even at levels where he did not need to get involved," he said.
Speid added: "He was also a fine player, who gave up playing for the national team because he thought that he would better serve by coaching, and so it is just a pity that he died so young."
Clyde Jureidini, general manager of Harbour View, the club Gaynor excelled both as a player and a coach, said Cobra was an honest person with a good will.
"Cobra was a disciplined and very ambitious young man, who played the game as he lived his life, trying to perform at the highest level.
"He always carried himself with a level of professionalism, and I think he would have wanted to be remembered as the consummate professional, both on and off the field," Jureidini added.
Teacher and motivator
National head coach Theodore 'Tappa' Whitmore, recalled that Gaynor was the captain of the team when he first played for Jamaica in 1993. He remembered him as a teacher and motivator to all.
"Everyone who knew Cobra remembers how much of a disciplinarian he was and the many young lives that he touched through football. Jamaica and football have lost a true friend and I am personally saddened by his passing."
Chairman of the Premier League Clubs Association and the Professional Football Association of Jamaica, former prime minister Edward Seaga, said his grouping was deeply saddened by the passing of Gaynor.
"Barrington 'Cobra' Gaynor was more than just a wonderful person. He was a truly dedicated football stalwart and friend and his memories will be forever held dear," Seaga said in a release.
He was a member of the Bull Bay Football Club, which is from the community where he hails and spent most of his playing and coaching days.
CAPTION: In his final major public appearance, former Jamaica international football star, Barrington 'Cobra' Gaynor, watches action from the stands during the February 27 Digicel Premier League football match between Harbour View and Boys' Town, at the Harbour View Mini Stadium. Gaynor was honoured and handed several donations to facilitate medical expenses. - File