Tue | May 18, 2021

‘A consummate professional’

Football fraternity remembers late Stewart for passion for game and leadership ability

Published:Monday | April 19, 2021 | 12:19 AMLivingston Scott/Gleaner Writer
In this file photo from November 2019, then Waterhouse FC player Tremaine Stewart (right) brings the ball down while challenged by Portmore United’s Tevin Shaw during a Jamaica Premier League game at the Spanish Town Prison Oval in St Catherine.
In this file photo from November 2019, then Waterhouse FC player Tremaine Stewart (right) brings the ball down while challenged by Portmore United’s Tevin Shaw during a Jamaica Premier League game at the Spanish Town Prison Oval in St Catherine.
CHRISTIE
CHRISTIE
EAST
EAST
GAYLE
GAYLE
RICKETTS
RICKETTS
1
2
3
4
5

The local football fraternity is mourning after news that Dunbeholden FC player Tremaine Stewart passed away yesterday. Stewart collapsed while playing football in his community of Gordon Pen, St Catherine, and was taken to the Spanish Town...

The local football fraternity is mourning after news that Dunbeholden FC player Tremaine Stewart passed away yesterday.

Stewart collapsed while playing football in his community of Gordon Pen, St Catherine, and was taken to the Spanish Town Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Stewart, who played professionally in Norway with Aalesunds FK and in Finland with Rovaniemen Palloseura, is remembered by the local clubs he represented, Waterhouse, Portmore United, and Dundeholden, as the consummate professional.

Although Stewart did not play an official game for Dundeholden since moving there at the end of last season, their manager, Paul Christie, said he was an example for all the players, and he demanded the best of himself and his teammates at all times.

“When we officially acquired the services of Mr Stewart, the entire management team and coaching staff was really elated,” Christie recalled.

“But [him] being a new player, you didn’t know exactly what you were getting. But the moment we started training, he was unofficially our captain for the season.

“He was the consummate professional, always at training early, and on the field doing something.”

Christie remembers an instance where Stewart showed real leadership in an incident with teammate Keithy Simpson. This was after the latter gave no explanation for his absence from training.

“Tremaine took it upon himself to reprove the player, pointing out that he didn’t come to the training and didn’t send an explanation to the club, and he was always serious and passionate about what he was saying and doing,” Christie said.

Christie says the community is still in shock over Stewart’s passing.

“I haven’t heard anything official other than he dropped down and died,” Christie said. “I am gathering myself to go over the house, but it is heartbreaking.”

Waterhouse coach Marcel Gayle also remembered the player as a true professional and one that gave his heart for the club.

SPECIAL PLAYER

“Tremaine was one of those players that was a special player to the clubs he served,” Gayle said. “At Waterhouse, he represented us gallantly, courageously. Ask any player, Tremaine gave his all for the club.

“He was a true professional, one that took his football very seriously. He worked very hard in training and always went out and gave his hundred for the team.”

Gayle says that every coach would want a player like Stewart for his technical qualities, tenacity, and leadership ability.

“He was a no-nonsense player, and he always wanted to win,” he said. “Sometime he wanted to win so much, his emotions get the better of him, but he is a player that every coach would want in their squad because he pulls his team forward.

“At this moment we are really very deeply saddened by the passing of this young father, father figure, and role model. We just can’t come to terms; we are almost in disbelief. But only God knows, and God knows best.”

Former Portmore United teammate Javon East said Stewart was mentally tough, hard working, and an exceptional talent.

WORKING HARD

“Everyone knew he had a strong mentality. He’s always putting out his best and working hard in training,” East said.

“He was always helpful to the team. He was a great player, a former national player, a standout player in Norway, and a former leading goalscorer for Portmore, so he was a top talent. When I first heard about it, I was shocked. I want to say condolences to his family.”

The Jamaica Football Federation said it is deeply saddened by the news of Stewart’s passing.

The JFF described Stewart, who had 12 international caps, as a skilful, confident, industrious, and energetic player who influenced games with precocious plays.

“It is so heartbreaking when we lose loved ones, particularly when they are so young,” JFF President Michael Ricketts said in a press release. “We grieve with his family and friends.”

The former Eltham High School footballer started his senior playing career with August Town. He left behind a wife and two daughters. He was 33 years old.

livingston.scott@gleanerjm.com