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The Classics

Pele recognised in Jamaica

Published:Friday | February 3, 2023 | 7:34 AM

Jamaicans were elated to have the world's greatest footballer in their presence. Mayor of Kingston, Councillor Emerson Barrett, shared that Pele was "one of us" before giving him the The Key to the City.

Published Monday, February 1, 1971

Pele gets key to the city

Brazil's football ace, Edson Arantes do Nascimento (Pele), was handed the Key to the City of Kingston by the Mayor of Kingston, Councillor Emerson Barrett, in a colourful ceremony before the start of the Santos Cavalier Invitational football match at the National Stadium yesterday afternoon.

The Town Clerk Glaister Duncan read the resolution passed by the members of the Kingston and St Andrew Corporation before the actual handover of the key to Pele.

Before presenting Pele with the key, Mr Barrett said that Pele had imprinted upon the grounds of Latin America and other soccer fields of the world, and also in the hearts of all those who saw him, an unsurpassable brilliance and a warmth of personality that enchants all people of all ages.

"As we watch his purposeful drive towards the goal and his moment of triumph what do we see? We see in him a sense of humility and a spirit of fellowship with his team, these are the qualities that truly make him great," Mr Barrett said.

The Mayor emphasised that Jamaicans were delighted to have Pele here, and his physical presence and interaction that he has with the people made Jamaicans feel that he is one of us. "It is therefore appropriate that we should make him a free man of our city."

Following the presentation of the keys to 'King Pele', Mr Barrett presented a plaque with the coat of arms of the city to the captain of the Santos Club, in appreciation of the club's visit to Jamaica.

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