Kwesi Mugisa, Gleaner Writer
Former national representative, Michael Tulloch, believes that many athletes who donned the country's national colours with pride in years gone by have now been forgotten entirely, and is hoping that a recently launched initiative will go a long way in rectifying the situation.
Honouring Our Heroes, the brainchild of the one-time Reggae Boy, intends to pay tribute to some 46 athletes, coaches and administrators, many, in Tulloch's opinion, often discounted despite setting the foundation for some of the nation's success in recent times.
"You know there have been many national representatives over the years, many that have served the nation with passion and distinction but have received very little recognition in return these days," Tulloch told The Gleaner.
"It seems as if things are cut off at a certain point. There was football before our success in 1998; what happened to those players? We want to say to some of these athletes and administrators, we appreciate you and what you have done for the country because you have served, and served well."
The former athletes to be honoured will be from the disciplines of cricket, basketball, football, hockey and track and field. Among the names are former footballers Allan 'Skill' Cole, Herbert 'Dago' Gordon, Trevor 'Jumpy' Harris, Kenneth 'Bop' Campbell, Anthony 'Badas' Corbett, Carl Brown, Clive Wedderburn, Donovan 'DV' Hayles, Andrew 'Bower' Hinds and Hector Wright. Some will also be honoured posthumously, including Donald 'Billy' Perkins and Steve 'Shorty' Malcolm.
Past national coaches Winston Chung Fah and Bradley Stewart will also be honoured, along with media practitioners Lance Whittaker, Robert 'Bobby' Fray and Courtney 'Sarge' Sargeant.
The event is scheduled to take place on Saturday at G.C. Foster College of Sports and Physical Education, commencing with a football game between former national players and a G.C. Foster XI at 4 p.m., followed by the awards ceremony at 6.
Tulloch, the organiser of the event, represented Jamaica's national team between 1980-1988 and scored on eight occasions.