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Gone too soon - Lawrence remembers late Duncan as disciplined player

Published:Monday | September 4, 2017 | 12:00 AMRobert Bailey
Okeem Forth (1997-2017)
Dominic James (1998-2016)
Jordan Foote (1997-2015)
Rushawn Duncan was stabbed to death last Thursday in an incident with a prank gone wrong.
Aaron Lawrence
Jerome Christie Pembroke Hall FC April 2017

National Under-15 coach Aaron Lawrence has described the untimely passing of national youth player Rushawn Duncan as a very sad day for the country's football.

The 14-year-old Duncan, who is from Cricket River in St Mary, was reportedly stabbed to death while playing a prank on his friends on Thursday.

Duncan represented the national Under-15 team in three practice games in the Cayman Islands, in preparation for the CONCACAF Under-15 Boys' Championship.

Lawrence said that Duncan's death came as a big surprise to many because he was always a disciplined player.

"He was a quality player, one that could have helped Jamaica's football for the future," said Lawrence. "He played centre back, he played right defence, and I think he was somebody that could have made a difference in the Under-17s, in the Under-20s, and even the senior level," he said.

Lawrence added: "He was a man who had size, he had good work ethics, his attitude towards training was excellent and he never gave up. If we put him at right defence, he would go there and play, and if we put him at centre back, he would go there and play, and played to his best. He was more of a utility player."

Lawrence, who is also the coach of newly promoted Red Stripe Premier League side, Sandals Whitehouse, added that Duncan's death came as a major surprise to everyone.

"It is shocking, and it shocked us quite much because we were looking at him as a youngster to make the transition going forward," Lawrence said.

Meanwhile, the Jamaica Football Federation said in a media release that it regrets Duncan's passing and expresses it's deepest and sincerest sympathy to his family and peers.

Young footballers who have passed away in the last two years:

Jordan Foote - Holy Trinity High (March 2016)

Dominic James - St George's College and Waterhouse FC (September 2016)

Okeem Forth - Olympic Gardens FC (April 2017)

Jerome Christie - Pembroke Hall FC (April 2017)

Rushawn Duncan - Jamaica U-15 and St Mary Raiders (August 2017)