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Tribute to the late Melford Roach; a Fine Cricketer and a Family Man

By Owen Roach


Members of Melford Roach family

On Saturday, December 5th, 2015, Melford Roach was laid to rest at the Macon Memorial Park Cemetery in Atlanta, USA.

Myself, friends and other family members turned out in numbers to say our final goodbyes. The night before the funeral, my friend Eddy Burke suggested that I should pen a few lines on a man whom he described as distinguished. I gave his request some thought, as this would be the second time that I would pay tribute to a Montserratian national cricket hero. The other, being the incomparable Haycene “Chico” Ryan; one of my childhood mentors, who also succumbed to cancer a few years earlier. Heroes they both were at least for the masses, if not officially recognised as such. For in Montserrat, recognising the worth and contributions of those who have contributed is sadly superficial, for truth has become a chimera.
It is not easy to write on a family member, more so your brother. But, here I go with caution. My earliest memories of Melford go back to the mid 1970’s. Our father, the late Tommy Roach, a former national cricketer, frequently spoke of Mel and his exploits in cricket. By then he had migrated to the land of the brave and free. My memories of him were derived from the stories our Dad told both myself, and my brother Rudolph, and also from a photo of him which was proudly displayed in our living room; featuring a Montserrat cricket team, with the likes of Frank Edwards, Vendol Moore, John Wilson, and Cubby Jemmotte among others. That year I believe was 1964.

By 1984, when I was much older, I was able to do some research on Mel Roach. I learnt that he played for the Leeward Islands cricket team against the touring Australians in St Kitts in 1965. His 34 runs batting at number 7 for the Leeward Islands was an example of his determination as a batter. What impressed me most about him in 1965 was that he opened the bowling for the Leeward Islands. Then, he would have been age 22. This was no mere feat. In the Leeward Islands of 1965, not many bowlers were quicker than Mel Roach. This clearly spoke volumes, for in the early 1960’s Winston Soanes; arguably the quickest bowler the Leewards had seen, had died in a car accident in Antigua. The Antiguan Hubert Anthonyson, bowled with fire and brimstone; and Lester Bird, the former Prime Minister of Antigua & Barbuda was a force to be reckoned with. I dare say, that these men of pace were as quick then as anyone in the West Indies. The difference was that they were all from the small Islands.

In the 1960’s the West Indies hierarchy did not consider cricketers from the Leeward Islands. Coming out of adult suffrage, these were the men that we hinged our hopes on for great things. This image was to manifest itself in 1973, when Elquimedo Willet, and later Andy Roberts and Viv Richards played for the West Indies cricket team. Thus, Mel Roach, and the other forerunners of pace were the spiritual fathers of Andy Roberts, and the other Leeward Island fast bowlers who later played test cricket. Not to see this is simply not to see!

Playing for Montserrat in the late 1960’s, Mel Roach’s performances were outstanding. Today, Clifton “Blee” Riley still contends that Mel bowled in the nineties. Dick Martin, and the other villagers of St Patricks, where he grew up and played most of his cricket are still steadfast in this belief. My friend Hugh Gore in Antigua, the former Leeward Islands player and later Manager once told me that Mel Roach was good enough to have played for the West Indies.

The late Antiguan historian, and writer Tim Hector, who frequently spoke of Mel Roach’s, high arm action and rapid pace in the 1960’s, echoed these sentiments.

I pause here, for no Montserratian writer is yet to write about Mel Roach. I am not surprised. For when years after the death of a cultural icon like Arrow, not even a street symbolises his memory, it tells me that we are a people,” without the knowledge of our past history, origin and culture”.

Mel Roach was a man of inspiration and great pride. His performances for Montserrat in the Leeward Islands cricket tournament as a fast bowler were exemplary. They lifted the nation. It gave us, the sons and daughters of slaves, coming into adult suffrage, the feeling that we could achieve any height as those who were more fortunate than we were.

This was evident in the dashing manner in which Jim Allen batted in later years, and Lesroy Weekes who came later, haunting some of the finest batsmen the game has produced in the Caribbean and England.

Mel Roach’s 151 not out against St Kitts in Antigua in 1965 – a gem of an innings – is still spoken of by students of the game. That innings was made against Leroy Coury and Edgar Gilbert; two of the finest spinners the Leeward Islands has produced. This was the first time that a Montserratian had made one hundred and fifty runs, in a Leeward Islands Cricket match. This was also the second century by a Montserratian after Kingsley Rock in the 1950’s.

In the 1960’s Montserratian cricketers did not score centuries. In the 1970’s and 1980’s, Jim Allen made scoring centuries and punishing bowlers in Leewards and regional cricket a norm. In the decade of the 1990’s, myself, Davon Williams, Fitzroy Buffonge, Alexander Hubert, Macpherson Meade, Trevor Semper and Zuan Sweeney, made hundreds at will and I hope, has paved the way for Dino Baker, Jason Peters and others. No other genuine Montserratian fast bowling all-rounder with the exception of Mel Roach and Alford Corriette has scored a century for Montserrat in the Leeward Islands cricket Tournament. Yet, these facts are not recorded in the history of Montserrat.

When Mel moved to the USA in the late 1960’s his impact as a cricketer was evident. So much so, that he had the distinction of touring with a New York representative team to Bermuda in the 1970’s. Mel’s long-time friend, and business partner Vincent Cassell, Eddy Burke and myself discussed at length as to why Montserrat had allowed such a talented cricketer to leave its shores in the prime of his life?

But, you see in the country of the blind, the one eyed man will always be King. It’s not the first time that a clueless cricket administration and a myopic Government had allowed our best sports personnel and or academics to leave our shores. It will not be the last.

Melford knew exceptional talent in cricket. When I visited him in Atlanta in March of this year, he was hospitalised, but we spoke about the game at length, as we always did. For him, cricket was the cultural vehicle, which gave us the people of the Caribbean a national expression. He spoke of the late John Burke, Eddy Burke’s Uncle who bowled the great Everton Weekes at Sturge Park in Montserrat in late 1950’s. Weekes was then one of the best batsmen in the world, and a celebrated member of the famous trio of, Weekes, Worrell, and Walcott. His words were, “Burke was a great off spin bowler”. He was also full of praise for Son Harris whom he thought was one of Montserrat’s finest fast bowling talents.

Away from the field of cricket, he believed in education. He believed in education in only a way that believers knew how to. He attended Baruch University in New York and gained a Master’s Degree in Business.

My position was Pan Africanism. Our social backgrounds were different. He grew up in a different Montserrat to me. My views were shaped by the struggles of good people the world over – Black and White, Christian or non-Christian – whose goals were based on equality and justice.

What impressed me most was Melford’s humour, and the equanimity with which he faced his illness. His son Laurie and I together visited him two weeks ago. He stated he was expecting us earlier than our arrival time. He also quickly told his Care Assistant who we both were with absolute certainty. I told Laurie that such traits of decisiveness were learnt on the field of play. Cricket was the golden game. Melford was a fast bowler who was mentally tough, despite the threat of death. I also got the impression that he was a no-nonsense man who was committed to positive family values. He always walked with a purpose, which typified certainty, and was distinguished in his dealings. He cared for everyone, and as Carlton Johnson in London told me a few nights ago, “he would never say a bad word about anyone”.

As I became older we grew closer. I would call him often, as I respected his views on everything. For me, he was the Dubois and George Padmore of his time in my personal life. Pan Africanism and cricket would always meet.

In the last couple of months Melford was suffering from pancreatic cancer. I saw the hurt and frustration in his eyes. I visited him several times in Atlanta. He told me that he was not going to give up. He was right, for today his fight is on a different frontier. His spirit never wavered. I am sure that today his spirit will join those of his mother and father, safe beyond the stars in God’s promise of eternal life.

In July of last year, he said the following on his Facebook page

“Something remains indelible on my mind 50 years ago, this month. After following on by 150 runs in our match against St. Kitts in Antigua, we were able to avoid another defeat. After being 23 for 5 the afternoon before, Corbett, Moore, Cabey, Brandt and myself, decided that we were not going to be defeated again. We were able to amass 266 runs, of which, Moore contributed 30 odd; Corbett and Cabey in the twenties. Brandt made his highest score ever, 19 runs. I was left not out 151. I cannot forget those guys who stood with me as we fought with great Montserratian pride. I think of them often. Must mention my friend Jemmotte who ran for an injured Moore. That entire group of players was the foundation if what was to follow”. What memories!

He leaves to mourn his wife Cheryl Campbell Roach in Atlanta. His Son Laurie, and his family in the USA. His daughters Penny and Kimberly, and their families also in the USA. His sisters, Iona, Edith, Audrey and Monica in the USA. Also his brothers Hopey, Rudolph, Owen, and their families. Rest in peace my brother!

Note: Owen Roach is a Pan Africanist and Barrister at the Bar of England and Wales

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Thomas Davis (Legs)

Thomas “ Legs” Davis

By Owen Roach

Thomas Davis (Legs)

(Thomas at his home in The Bronx, New York)

This is the first time in about five years that I have visited New York City. My memories of this City are littered with good thoughts. Years ago in the early 1990s, I spent many Summers with Reinford Gibbons, alias Kulcha Don, Adrian “Smudge”, Johnson, Polo Johnson, Cullen Bramble and many more of my childhood friends in the Bronx. We were all much younger then, and much fun, we had. As an elder, James “ Dah- Rocky” Lee, always provided useful guidance.

(Top Photo. Montserrat cricket team in Nevis in 1952. Bottom row sitting - Sylvester Davis, Barley Mason, and Thomas Davis - with bat in hand. Bottom photo - Far bottom right Thomas Davis . Other players in that photo are: - standing from left - Sylvester Davis, Don Edwards, Syers, George Edwards, Robert Semper, Son Harris, and Theodore Bramble- Standing. George Edwards has the white scarf on his neck. He is fourth from the left at the top.).*

(Top Photo. Montserrat cricket team in Nevis in 1952. Bottom row sitting – Sylvester Davis, Barley Mason, and Thomas Davis – with bat in hand.
Bottom photo – Far bottom right Thomas Davis . Other players in that photo are: – standing from left – Sylvester Davis, Don Edwards, Syers, George Edwards, Robert Semper, Son Harris, and Theodore Bramble- Standing. George Edwards has the white scarf on his neck. He is fourth from the left at the top.).*

BR speaks with Davis DSC_5361(2)

(B Roach speaking with ‘Legs’ Davis on June 25 at Melford’s Memorial service in New York.)

Most of my family lives in this huge cosmopolitan City, so it is unusual that my hiatus was for such a long duration.

On Sunday of last week, as I travelled on the uptown train from Manhattan, I thought of my brother Melford Roach, who recently died. It was his memory that has brought me back to this City, as a memorial was held in his honour on 25th June, 2016 at Vyse Avenue in the Bronx. Mel, as he was affectionately known, loved cricket, and as expected several past cricketers attended his memorial. Amongst them was my former Ghetto Stars cricket mate, Cecil “ Joe Fatty” Farrell, forever a proud Montserratian.

I was introduced to Thomas Davis, and right away I recognized his name, as his name has always been synonymous with cricket in Montserrat. I thought that it would be good to record his story for posterity, as in Montserrat, the contributions of its sons and daughters seems to have faded into oblivion or are simply nonexistent. It is not the first or last time, that I would echo these sentiments.

Thomas Davis is one of Montserrat’s most prominent cricketers. He was born in George Street, to Samuel Davis and Alice Tuitt in 1928. His nickname, “Legs” was given to him by his cousin Ruby Chambers. Ruby once told Thomas during their childhood playing days, that “legs on duty stand up on duty”. He attended the Kinsale Primary School. His two favourite teachers were Ms Dunbar, an Antiguan who lived in Montserrat, and Ms Vivian Allen from St John’s. The then young Thomas Davis journeyed to school on foot daily. Such was the mode of transportation in those days.

As I sat and spoke to him at his home in the Bronx where he has lived since 1959, he fondly remembers playing for the Spitfire Cricket Team in the 1940s. Spitfire Cricket Team then was the team of the working class. That team featured the likes of my father Tommy Roach, Daniel Roach, Barley Mason, Robert Semper, and Gee Dyer, all deceased.

Young Davis played as an opening batsman, and excelled against the other teams that were part of the cricket league in Montserrat at the time. Some of those teams were the Union Cricket team that comprised of players from the then Montserrat Secondary School. Some of the players who represented this club were Reginald Clarke and James Osborne. In later years Reginald Clarke would open the batting for Montserrat with Thomas Davis. There were also other teams like Rivals, who boasted in their ranks the likes of Peter Collins, Rolley Riley, Simeon James and John Barzey.

The Corkhill Cricket Team featured Teacher George Edwards, Peter Cabey, and Fred Barzey. The Montserrat Defence Force Team one of the more opulent clubs of the time, featured Theodore Bramble, Hubert Mason, and Michael Dyer.

It was a century in a trial match at Sturge Park in the late 1940s that brought Davis to the attention of the Montserrat Cricket Selectors. Davis, who was predominantly an offside player, had no structural weakness in his cover drive. He recalls that in those days trial matches were played on Wednesday afternoons.

These were the halcyon days of Montserrat cricket. Thomas Davis remembers playing his first match for Montserrat in 1951 in St Kitts. Some of his teammates then were, Sydney Meade, Will Farrell, Simeon James, Barley Mason, Hubert Mason, George Edwards and John Burke, all deceased. The names of which very few Montserratians have ever heard of. Such history should be taught in our schools. For a people without the knowledge of their past, history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.

In 1953, Thomas Davis representing Montserrat in Montserrat, scored a half-century in the first innings against Nevis at Sturge Park. In the second innings, he was again prolific in scoring 60 runs. In that same Tournament, Davis scored 84 in the first innings against St Kitts and a half-century in the second innings against St Kitts. Montserrat won the Leewards Islands Cricket Tournament for the first time. That feat is yet to repeat itself. Thomas Davis is the only surviving member of that team. He is eighty-eight years old. I think that the Government and people of Montserrat should officially recognize this unsung hero, and true son of our soil.

Davis played for Montserrat with distinction between, 1951 to 1956. In 1953, he had the honour of being selected to play in a mixed team in British Guiana. He, along with three others from the Leeward Islands were selected. The others were Austin Eddy of St Kitts, Hubert Anthony of Antigua, and Hobson from Nevis. Such was the high esteem in which Thomas Davis was held as a batsman. In British Guiana, Davis scored 42 runs for Robert Christiani’s team. Jeffrey Stollmeyer, the former West Indies Cricket Captain, captained the other team.

I will divert a little here, for in the times in which Thomas Davis grew up, it was an era that had as its backdrop slavery and intense racism. In those days, we the sons and daughters of the descendants of African slaves were made to feel inferior. This was enforced by law and the power of internal and external forces. We in Montserrat had to, as a matter of necessity, rise in sports, politics, and culture to overcome those darks days of oppression. In particular, to overcome the contempt shown to our so called inferior status. Thomas Davis as a cricketer, was a beacon of hope in those dark days. He shone at times in isolated brilliance.

Diminutive in size, only a careful observer of physique would notice Davis, but in the 1940s and 1950s his mastery as a batsman could not be missed.

Davis worked as a Carpenter at Public Works Department in Montserrat before migrating to the United States to live in 1959. In New York, Davis continued to play cricket and had the distinction of representing the New York Cricket Team in 1970, as a batsman.

Cricket has always been the vehicle that we as the people in the Caribbean used as a tool to propel us forward. In Montserrat, cricket has become a form of national expression. Sports in our small island has been used as a carriage of personal advancement. For sports in general rests on the premise, that all participants are equal and that the same clock times all players. For like the law, sports is supposed to be colour blind.

Thomas Davis is an unsung hero. Montserrat should be proud of his achievements.

The present Government seems to be on the right track in honouring its own. No doubt the Honourable Gregory Willock is a driving force in this regard.

I would hereby submit that Thomas Davis, as the only surviving member of the victorious Montserrat 1953 cricket team, should be honoured and celebrated. My friend Helen Lee, and my cousin James “Capes” Taylor who transported me to meet Thomas Davis where overwhelmed by this touching story. It would be interesting to see what my Atlanta friends think, as Dave Markham is of the view that I should write more.

Perception, I am told, is more real than reality until reality overtakes it. For decades, I had wrongfully thought that myself, the deceased Haycene Ryan, Alford Corriette, and John Mack were the main cricketers to have emerged from George Street. Now, reality has set in.

Davis returned to Montserrat for a brief period in the early 1990s. However, the destructive bolcano destroyed his newly built home in Upper Dagenham. It was a huge financial and spiritual loss. Nature, would deny Thomas Davis the chance to spend more time in his beloved Montserrat.

It was a pleasure to have spent the afternoon with Thomas Davis and his wife Mrs Susan Greer Davis.

Note: Owen Roach is a former Montserrat National Cricketer and Barrister-at-Law in London.

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A Memorial – Melford G Roach

by Bennette Roach

Mel2Melford George Roach, 1943 – 2015, born to Henrietta (a.k.a. Na, Helen) and John Thomas (Tommy) Roach in St. Patrick’s village, Montserrat, where he grew up until he migrated to the USA in 1967, but not before his cricket achievements, as mentioned in a tribute penned and published in this issue by his brother, Barrister-at-Law Owen Roach.

In a biography which formed part of a booklet with the program (Remembering “Mel”) of a Memorial service, organised by his sisters, Iona (Ta), Edith and Audrey, with other relatives, held on June 25, 2016 at Vyse Avenue in the Bronx, New York, and which I attended, Owen wrote, “Mel, as he was affectionately known, loved cricket, and as expected several past cricketers attended his memorial.”

In the biography, it stated: “From an early age Melford loved sports. He played cricket early on, first as a student attending the Roman Catholic School and later the Montserrat Secondary School from which he graduated. He immediately went to work for the Montserrat Government, first at the Public Works and later at the Audit Department.Mel1 Mel3

“He was a big brother, Dad, father figure, friend, husband, grand dad, uncle, cousin, godfather and more…He would often encourage us, his siblings to call one another and other members of the family to keep in  touch…He looked forward to the reunions every time they’re held and unfortunately, he’ll be physically absent from this year’s and all other future Parrish Family Reunions.”

He had begun the plans for a big family reunion…the hope is that this plan will be fulfilled if just for his memory.

Melford was the second of the five children to Na and Tommy, older brother Joseph “Hopie” Roach, and younger sisters Iona Roach, Shandrena Audrey Welch and Edith Roach; and Monica Ryan. He married to Audrey Tuitt (sister of renowned Montserrat commentator Arnold Tuitt, deceased, who became an Anglican priest). He fathered Laurie Anthony and Penelope and Kimberly. He later married to Cheryl Campbell and moved to Georgia, Atlanta, until his death November 26,   2015. On Saturday, December 5, 2015, he was laid to rest at the Macon Memorial Park Cemetery in Atlanta, USA.

DSC_5324John Wilson in a tribute to Melford wrote to remember their friendship: “The qualities of character required for true friendship is quite simply the best qualities a human can possess; unselfishness, tolerance, forbearance, trustworthiness, faithfulness, honesty. If we, fragile mortals, feel un-equal to the effort of applying all these qualities all the time, we might try a little harder if we remember that we are doing it out of a kind of love which   yields love in repayment and to love and be loved is worth all the effort we can possibly make. My friend and “brother” Melford was handsome, charming, possessing that easy and persuasive manner, gentle and kind and accommodating, selfless, thoughtful, having flaws and weaknesses, not perfect but a good loving heart.”

Mel DSC_5315For me, I remembered Melford (my cousin) as an older brother as we grew up closely together, played cricket and other sports as little boys in all ‘sorts and fashion’. I knew of his cricket prowess and it was first match representing Montserrat in Antigua when he made that memorable 151 of which he wrote, according to Owen: ”After following-on by 150  runs in  our match  against St. Kitts in Antigua, we were able to avoid another defeat. After being 23 for 5 the afternoon before, Corbett, Moore, Cabey, Brandt and myself, decided that we were not going to be defeated again. We  were  able  to  amass 266  runs, of which, Moore contributed 30 odd; Corbett and Cabey in the twenties. Brandt made his highest score ever, 19 runs. I was left not out 151. I cannot forget those guys who stood with me as we fought with great Montserratian pride.” I record this for the benefit of our young and old “with great Montserratian pride”.

IJohn Wilson can contribute to Owen’s article on Thomas ‘Legs’ Davis who we both met at the Memorial Service for Melford.

I interviewed Legs who pointed out that he was a member of the Montserrat teams that won the Leeward Islands cricket tournaments in 1951 and 1953. He named who he referred to as the core players for Montserrat in the 50s. These were Sydney Meade (captain), George Edwards, Son Harris (fast bowlers), Desmond Taylor, Theodore Bramble, Peter Cabey and Colin Jeffers.

See also: Thomas “Legs” Davis and Tribute and “Tribute to the late Melford Roach; a Fine Cricketer and a Family Man”

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A ‘Montserrat’ wonder in the making!

Jovelle1Jovélle McLean Meade at 13 years-of-age is the son of Silvonnie McLean and Veronica Meade, grandson of Jean McLean and Cecil Cassell loved running from a very early age. Before he was a year old Jovélle would have plenty bouts of running – random strangers would always remark that we should put him into sprinting.

Even at the park when it would be time to go home Jovélle would ask to run around one more time, despite playing for hours and running around he would always want one more run around.

Forward a few years to the 2012 Olympics Jovélle became obsessed with sprinting. Watching Usain Bolt and all the other runners, he wanted to be like them.

He pestered his dad Veronis Meade aka Joe, to take him running. At this time Tchai Codrington Joes nephew was running for a club Orion Harriers Junior so Joe took Jovélle along.

The coaches were immediately impressed with Jovélle and asked to take him to Woodford Green to an open meeting where Jovélle would get his official time.

On Jovélle’s first race on August 21, 2012 as an under-11 athlete, Jovélle ran 10.57s in the 75m and 21.13s in the 150m. He broke the record that stood at Orion Harriers at that time and to date has these two records at the club in the under-11 age group.Jovelle

His second race was in the 100m and he did it in 14.29s. He was immediately signed to that club and have represented them at various locations including Linford Christie Stadium, Basildon, Walthamstow, Brighton, Hendon, Chelmsford and Ashford to name a few.

After these races Jovélle represented his Primary School St. Pauls and Al Hallows in a cross-country Event where he ran with boys from year 6&7 and came 19th overall.

As Jovélle’s time improved in his preferred events of 200m and 100m he started running with not his peers, but with different athletes of a higher age group. Despite being only 13, Jovélle would find himself competing with athletes older than him. Boys who are in the U15, U17, U23 and above-age group.  This never deterred him and made his confidence grow. Often he would place first against these more experienced and older and advanced athletes.

Injury and loss of determination at one point discouraged Jovélle from running. Despite several encouragements even by his uncle Hartford Codrington who was a part of the Easter Monday Road Runners Relay Team 1990-1995 in Montserrat, he wanted to stop running.

February 2016, Jovélle went to a different club, Enfield and Haringey and the team spirit support and encouragement from his peers was the driving force backing-up his passion.

Jovélle most recent performance was on June 11, 2016 at the Hillingdon Stadium in Uxbridge where he competed with other athletes from various schools in the Inter School Championship.

Jovélle, with his mum and granddad in the crowd, ran the 200m in 23s which saw him break the previous record that stood since 1991. He then ranked 2nd fastest in England despite having a chest infection and not running to form.

The first ranked athlete did 22.9s.

As Jovélle won his last race in the 200m at this event he has been selected to represent the Borough of Middlesex in the 200m and will possibly be also selected to do the relay at the Gateshead International Stadium in Newcastle on July 8 and 9, 2016.

This is an ESAA National Championship competition and is the 4th largest Athletics event in the world.

He has also been selected to represent Haringey Schools at Crystal Palace the July 3 in the London School Championships.

Jovélle does 100m, 200m Long Jump and 4×100 relay where he is the anchor. Jovélle can represent Montserrat or the UK via his Montserrat parentage.

UK rankings stands:

60m -19th

60i – 20th

100m – 28th

200m – 2nd

200i – 13th

(i = indoors)

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Muhammad Ali, boxing legend, cultural icon dies at 74

Fox News Sports

Muhammad Ali, the three-time heavyweight champion boxer whose electrifying prowess in the ring and controversial outspokenness outside of it made him one of the world’s most recognizable personalities of the 20th Century, died Friday after a battle with a respiratory illness. He was 74.

Ali, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s syndrome in 1984, died at a Phoenix hospital.

Ali family spokesperson Bob Gunnell said in a statement that Ali’s funeral will take place in his hometown of Louisville, Ky.

“The Ali family would like to thank everyone for their thoughts, prayers, and support and asks for privacy at this time.”

Reaction to Ali’s death immediately poured in on Twitter early Saturday from former boxing champions to celebrities and politicians.

See more at ESPN:

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Rising Stars v Lookout

Basket ballers excite in league openers

Davy Hill v St Peters (3)DAVY HILL—Look Out Shooters, St. Peters Hilltop, Cudjoe Head Renegades and Salem Jammers emerged victorious over the weekend as they thrilled fans with their basketball prowess in five games played over three days on May 13, 14 and 15 in the Montserrat Amateur Basketball Association 2016 league. In Game one on Friday, May 13, the Lookout Shooters proved that they were unintimidated by the date’s legend of being ‘unlucky’ as they dominated their rivals the Rising Stars to score 86 points to the Rising Stars 66, securing victory.

The winning team’s top scorers were Kwasi Ryan with 21 points, six rebounds, five assists and four steals and George Green with 21 points, 13 rebounds, two assists and one block. Top Scorers for Rising Stars were Shane Caesar who secured 21 of his team’s 66 points, 20 rebounds and four steals. His team mate Stephan Browne contributed 19 points, three rebounds and one steal.

In game two St Peters Hilltop schooled the Davy Hill Ras Valley Lions with a whopping 93 points to Davy Hill Ras Valley Lion’s 41 points. Seon Evelyn and T.O Shotte were the top scorers for St. Peters with 41 points six rebounds four assists, four steals and 16 points, 16 rebounds, two assists and six steals respectively.Davy Hill v St Peters (5)

The top scorers for Davy Hill in that game were Chrisselton Jules with 13 points, three rebounds, two assists and three steals and his team mate Vaughn Fenton with 10 points, 16 rebounds, one assist and five steals.

The basketball action continued on Saturday night with the first match of the night between Cudjoe Head Renegades– who scored 99 points– and MSS Warriors. MSS Warriors lost the game by 28 points, with a score of 71 points. Top Scorers for Cudjoe Head were Encousie Wilson with an impressive 51 points, 14 rebounds, nine assists and eight steals and Wendell Allen with 22 points, 10 rebounds, nine assists, nine steals and one block. For the MSS Warriors the top scorers were Davion Smith 13 points, 22 rebounds, five assists and two steals and Dave Williams with 12 points.

Game two of the night saw the Salem Jammers battle the Rising Stars and scoring 84 points to the Rising Stars 51 points. Nichon Weekes was again his team’s top scorer, securing 29 of the Salem Jammers 84 points. He also contributed 10 rebounds, five assists and one steal. Jordan Lambert scored 16 points for the Jammers and contributed 11 rebounds, two assists and one steal.

Rising Stars v LookoutOn Sunday, May 15, basketball fans were still eager for more action and MABA players did not disappoint. MSS Warriors duked it out with St Peter’s Hilltop losing that game when they scored 62 points to Hilltop’s 67 points. Top Scorers for MSS Warriors were Davion Smith with 15 points, six rebounds, two assists, four steals and one block and Clevan Skerritt with nine points, four rebounds, three assists and four steals. Top Scorers for St Peters were T.O. Shotte with 17 points, nine rebounds, two assists, one steal and one block and Holren Bobb with 13 points, eight rebounds, seven assists, eight steals and one block.

The 2016 Montserrat Basket Ball Association league kicked off on April 30 with back to back games played to an almost full house at the auditorium. Game one of that night featured the Davy Hill Ras Valley Lions in an action packed, fast pace battle against the MSS Warriors. The MSS warriors lived up to their name, winning the game with 67 points compared to Davy Hill Ras Valley Lions 59 points.Davy Hill v St Peters (4)

The top Scorers for Davy Hill on that night were Chrisselton Jules with 18 points, seven rebounds, one assist and three steals, and Vaughn Fenton with 14 points, 15 rebounds, 10 steals and one block. Dave Williams was the top scorer for the Davy Hill Ras Valley Lions with 18 points, two2 rebounds, six assists and four steals. His team mate Davion Smith also gave an impressive showing with 15 points, nine rebounds, three assists, five steals and one block.

Game two saw the St. Peters Hilltop battle the Salem Jammers, in a nail biting, intense game, that went to the Salem Jammers within the last five minutes. Salem Jammers scored 69 points to St. Peters Hilltop’s 63 points. Salem’s Nichon Weekes was the top scorer for his team and of both games that night with 26 points, 12 rebounds, four assists, three steals and one block. Jordan Lambert was Salem’s other top scorer that night with 16 points, 11 rebounds, one assist and one steal. For the St. Peters’ team the top scorers were Holren Bobb with 18 points and13 rebounds and T.O. Shotte with eight8 points, eight rebounds, one steal one block. For the Rising Stars the top scorers were Chaquille Sam with 15 points, five rebounds, two assists and four steals and Shane Caesar with 12 points, 13 rebounds and two steals.

The following week Cudjoe Head Renegades proved they are a basketball force to be reckoned with as they dominated the Rising Stars in the Friday night game to emerge with a 44 points victory margin. Cudjoe Head Renegades scored 93 points to the Rising Stars 49 points, with 22 of those 93 points being scored by Encousie Wilson, the top scorer of that game. Outside of his 22 points contribution, Wilson also had 16 rebounds, seven assists and five steals. His team mate Wendell Allen was their team’s second top scorer of that game with 19 points, 11 rebounds, seven assists, seven steals and two blocks. The Top Scorers for Rising Stars were Chaquille Sam with 14 points eight rebounds foursteals and one block and Luis Morales with 14 points, three rebounds, one assist and one steal.

Game two on that same night featured St. Peters Hilltop against the Look Out Shooters and boasted a nail biting finish with the Look Out Shooters winning the game by one point. The Look Out Shooters scored 74 points while St. Peters Hilltop scored 73 points. Top Scorers for St Peters that night were Holren Bobb with 23 points, 11 rebounds and one assist and Neil Isaacs contributing 12 points, five rebounds, four assists and four steals. Look Out Shooters top scorers were Kwasi Ryan with 22 points, two assists and four steals and Vachel Murrain 18 points, 16 rebounds, four assists and five steals.

Basketball fans were treated to two more games over that same weekend when the MSS Warriors battled Rising Stars on the Saturday night in Game 1 and the Cudjoe Head Renegades battled the Salem Jammers for basketball glory. The MSS Warriors lost to the Rising Stars by two points scoring 70 points while the Rising Stars scored 72 points.  Top Scorers for MSS were Dave Williams with 21 points, five assists and four steals and Maldrick Weekes with 11 points, nine rebounds, one assist and one steal.

Top Scorers for Rising Stars were Chaquille Sam with 24 points, four rebounds, two assists and four steals and Christon Layne scoring nine points, 10 rebounds, three assists two steals and one block.

In game two between the Salem Jammers and the Cudjoe Head Renegades Nichon Weekes proved his worth scoring 45 of his teams’ 80 points. That was not enough to win the game for the Salem Jammers who lost to their rival by two points. Cudjoe Head Renegades won the game with 82 points. Top Scorers for Cudjoe Head were Wendell Allen with 24 points, eight rebounds, six assists two steals and two blocks and Crenston Buffonge with 22 points, 10 rebounds and four assists. Top Scorers for Salem were Nichon Weekes with 45 points, 10 rebounds, four assists and four steals and Jordan Lambert with 10 points, 15 rebounds, five assists two steals and one block.

Posted in Local Sports, News, Sports0 Comments


MUL leads in organizing cricket matches for charity

DSC_2793Charity Cricket Matches is the name given to a series of T20 cricket matches organised by the Montserrat Utilities Limited (MUL). In the beginning the MUL cricket team intended to continue the series of Charity Matches against firstly local celebrities and secondly returning Montserratians during the of St. Patrick’s Week of Activities.

Financial Controller, Duleep Cheddie of Montserrat Utilities Ltd. (MUL) is the organizer of the matches while Mr. David Thompson, Managing Director of MUL, like several others participating in the matches and leading the various teams, explained the purpose of the fun matches.DSC_2807

The Montserrat Reporter on advice that the matches had already begun to take place visited the Little Bay playing field on Sunday, January 31 and witnessed two teams, the Premier’s XI play against the MUL team.

Our young trainee reporter spoke to Manager David Thompson: “…cricket is a great game – that’s the starting point,” he explains. “It’s a bit of team building, a bit of moral help, and support for the team members of MUL,” he said.

DSC_2872He pointed out that the particular game being played against the Premier’s eleven, saying, “we’re raising money for the Premier’s choice this time around, that’s Golden Years home.”

He hoped that people are watching, enjoying the match, buying a bit of food “enjoying themselves and give a contribution which we will gather together and give to the Golden Years home.”DSC_2870

Thompson continued by saying that the season has finished and they are arranging a series of non-league matches – friendly matches against a range of opposition and, “we’re allowing the opposition to choose which charity they would like to donate too.”

DSC_2857Premier Romeo who played in the match told us that he played cricket while at MSS before he gave it up for basketball. He said this was not his first match as he and Leader of the Opposition Reuben T Meade played. “That was the Opposition Leader’s team with myself,” he said. “We played together, actually both of us opened bat against MUL, but MUL beat us badly. That time we raised several thousand dollars.”DSC_2832

This time in the absence of Meade he was represented on the Premier’s XI by Derrick Lee who confirmed, “I’m representing the Premier Office in the place of Reuben T. Meade; he would have been playing on this side. Because he’s unavailable he asked me to take his place.”

An elated MUL’s Jack Ryan also noted that his team is playing the Premier’s team, which was selected by him. His team narrowly edged out the Premier’s team. He said: “The whole experience was very good,” pointing out, “this whole thing is played with a view to raise for a charity which is Meals on Wheels.” Ryan noted that, “…meals are transported to vulnerable persons who can’t afford proper meals so to speak.”

DSC_2833Star of the day was Access Coordinator David ‘Trixie’ Duberry, playing for the Premier’s team scoring 76 which was just not good enough to overhaul the MUL’s score of 154 in 20 overs.

Duberry looked outstanding at the crease, hitting several boundaries which he cleared several times, scoring 6s. He admitted, “I’ve been playing for quite a while. This is my second game in about two years so it’s good to be back,” explaining, “I played for Montserrat and I played some cricket in England as well so I’ve played good level cricket before.”DSC_2827

He acknowledged the efforts of “the planning done by Mr. (Duleep) Cheddie – he organizes it and I think between them they decide which organization they could consider as a charity.”

Chief organiserDuleep Cheddie confirmed that each of the competing teams which vary: Hon Reuben Meade, Leader of the Opposition XI, Hon Paul Lewis (Minister of Coms and Works) XI, Basil Chambers All Starts XI and Hon. Premier’s XI, compete on select Sundays at Little Bay Playing Field in matches beginning at 2.00 p.m.

DSC_2839The matches have been organised with support from the Montserrat Cricket Association regarding the grounds and other aspects of the game; They are to also assist as follows: Donate $1.00 from the proceeds of sale of each beverage for charity; and $1.00 from the proceeds of sale of each serving of food for charityDSC_2840

After this month two matches will be played during the of St. Patrick’s Week of Activities, against a team comprising of returning Montserratians, captained by the Hon. Claude Hogan (Minister of Agriculture.

Premier Romeo hints to our trainee Reporter: “Prime Minister of Antigua has already agreed to come play in a match here, probably on Easter Monday.”

The following is a tentative schedule of matches. The named team is gets to name the charity of their choice.

Sunday 31st January 2016 –

Hon. Premier’s X1;

Sunday 7th February 2016

Hon. Leader of the Opposition X1

Sunday 21st February 2016

Hon. Paul Lewis’ Invitational XI

Sunday 28th February 2016

Basil Chambers All Stars X1

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FIFA president now under criminal investigation over deal with Jack Warner


FIFA president Sepp Blatter

Switzerland, Friday Sept 25, 2015 – As the extradition process for former FIFA vice president and corruption accused Jack Warner remains in limbo, the head of football’s world governing body is under criminal investigation in connection with a TV rights deal that he signed with the Trinidad and Tobago football executive 10 years ago.

FIFA headquarters was raided, the office of President Sepp Blatter searched and data seized today.

And the attorney general subsequently announced that his office had opened criminal proceedings into Blatter, is due to step down from FIFA’s leadership next February, on suspicion of criminal mismanagement or, alternatively, misappropriation.

It is alleged that on September 12, 2005, Blatter signed a contract with the Caribbean Football Union, headed by Warner, which was “unfavorable for FIFA”.

“There is a suspicion that, in the implementation of this agreement, Blatter also violated his fiduciary duties and acted against the interest of FIFA and/or FIFA Marketing & TV AG,” a statement issued by the office of the Swiss attorney general said.

Additionally, Blatter is suspected of a “disloyal payment” of two million Swiss francs (US$2 million) to President of Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) Michel Platini, at the expense of FIFA, which was allegedly made for work performed between January 1999 and June 2002. The payment was made in February 2011.

Blatter, 79, was interrogated today, following a meeting of the FIFA Executive Committee.

The attorney general’s statement said Platini was also heard “as a person asked to provide information”.

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Jeffrey Webb

Former FIFA Vice President pleads not guilty – under house arrest

Jeffrey Webb

Jeffrey Webb

NEW YORK, Jul. 19, CMC – Jeffrey Webb, the former head of CONCACAF, the region’s governing body for football, was granted bail amounting to US$10 million and placed under house arrest when he appeared in court here on Saturday.

Webb, also a former FIFA Vice President is accused of accepting bribes worth millions of dollars in connecting with the sale of marketing rights.

He was detained in Switzerland in May, along with six football officials before begin extradited to the US last week.

The New York judge who ordered to remain at home in a 20 mile radius of the court, also told the court that Webb’s movements will be monitored via and electronic tag.

He was also required to hand over his three passports.

According to court documents, the prosecutors allege that among the bribes Webb allegedly received was a US$ 1.1 million to award the marketing rights to a Miami based company for the 2012 CONCACAF Gold Cup and Champions league tournament.

Webb, 50, was banned by FIFA after he was indicted in May in the United States.

He entered a plea of not guilty to charges of money laundering, wire fraud and racketeering.


Posted in International, International Sports, Local, Local Sports, News, Regional, Regional Sports, Sports4 Comments

Montserrat Under-23 Netball team - 2015

Six teams to vie for 25th OECS/ECCB Under-23 Netball Tournament Title

netball banner

This year, six teams will vie for the championship title in the 25th OECS/ECCB Under-23 Netball Tournament, which will be hosted from tomorrow by the St Kitts Netball Association in St. Kitts at the Pamela Tyson Netball Complex, Basseterre.

The tournament which runs from Saturday, July 18 to Thursday, July 23, 2015 is sponsored by the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) official sponsor of the tournament since 1991, in collaboration with the OECS Commission.

Montserrat Under-23 Netball team - 2015

Montserrat Under-23 Netball team with their Coach – 2015

The Montserrat netball girls team which left here on Friday morning by ferry to Antigua with an onward flight to St. Kitts, will compete and mingle with teams from The Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, St Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, and St Vincent and the Grenadines.


Collaborating with the OECS Commission to stage this regional competition, the ECCB says in a release that its “continued sponsorship of the tournament demonstrates the Bank’s vision of fostering regional integration and its commitment to the overall development of the region’s young women through sports.

President of the St Kitts Netball Association, Mrs Juliet Hanley-Liburd, says the tournament will begin with an opening ceremony and a parade of the teams, while she encourages persons to come out to witness the games and be treated to talent, fun and excitement.

The ECCB release on the tournament also informs that “In keeping with its commitment to the overall development of the region’s young netballers, the ECCB incorporates a development session into the tournament. This year, Adviser in the Corporate Relations Department, Sybil Welsh, will engage the netballers in discussion on the topic: ‘Effective Communication’.”


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