It was fun, frolic and entertainment as a number of the country’s former stars rubbed shoulders with aspiring talents in a Heineken Celebrity Scrimmage Tournament at the University of the West Indies (UWI) Mona, Bowl yesterday.
The celebrity team comprised Reggae Boyz head coach Theodore “Tappa” Whitmore, former Reggae Boy & international player Ian “Pepe” Goodison, HVFC’s General Manager Clyde Jureidini, Arnett Gardens’ captain Oneil “Bigga” Thompson, and Humble Lions’ Rafe Wolfe who featured in the Hungarian National Championships last year.
With goals from Whitmore, Goodison and Jureidini, the celebrity team came away 3-2 winners on penalty over Roosters.
Roosters proved the best of the five teams of five players each from the UWI that vied through a knockout round for a chance to play the All-Star celebrity team in the grand showdown of the friendly and exciting one-day tournament.
After defeating Hardball 1-0, courtesy of an Alain Messam penalty in the elimination finale, Roosters held their own against the Celebrity team throughout the 20-minute encounter, but lacked composure during the shoot-out.
Despite the loss, Roosters were awarded VIP access to the UEFA Champions League (UCL) “Champion Di Trophy” tour at the National Indoor Sports Centre on March 21.
They will also gain automatic entry to the workshop at the Football Factory on March 22, which will be led by UCL ambassador and former Manchester United star Ruud van Nistelrooy.
Meanwhile, the celebrity All-Star players receieved $50,000 each for their respective charities. The Charity chosen by our General Manager to receive the gift of $50,000 is the St. Mark’s Basic School, in the Harbour Drive area at the foot of Bayshore.
Whitmore welcomed the move. “I like the initiative by Heineken in interacting with the youth, so I think it was good for the younger players to showcase their talent.
“I think it is encouraging for us as former players and coach to be participating in events like these, and I think it’s an extra boost for the younger players because they see us all the time and want to play with us and interact with us. So I think this is a motivation for them,” he told the Jamaica Observer.
With the event being part of their build-up to their UCL Trophy Tour, Suwannee Stewart, Heineken’s brand manager, was pleased with the response.
“We had a great time today… it wasn’t about the crowd that was here, it was about the impact and certainly inviting past and present celebrity footballers to interact with the young players here at UWI, which is so prevalent to the Champons League right now.
Source: The Jamaica Observer