Former national defender, Barrington ‘Cobra’ Gaynor, says he is grateful for the love and affection that was shown towards him, during last Sunday’s Digicel Premier League title-chasing clash between long-time rivals Harbour View and Boys’ Town, at the Harbour View Mini Stadium.
Gaynor, who is suffering from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), more commonly known as the Lou Gehrig’s disease – which has made him wheelchair bound – was honoured during a ceremony at the half-time break by his former clubs, Bull Bay, Harbour View and Waterhouse, and the Sports Development Foundation (SDF).
“I am humbled by your huge value placed on my contribution to football in Jamaica,” Gaynor said via a note which was written by one of his caregivers using an alphabet chart.
“My family and I are grateful for this gesture. I cannot thank you enough and please pray for me.”
The ceremony, which was well received by those who were on hand, who applauded the 45-year-old as he was transported to and from the venue’s centre circle, saw the SDF, an arm of the Government, presenting Gaynor with a $200,000 cheque. SDF Chairman David Mais made the presentation.
Bull Bay Football Club, which is from the community where Gaynor hails and where he spent most of his playing and coaching days, contributed $10,000 courtesy of its president, Leroy Gordon, while Waterhouse, where Gaynor coached towards the latter part of his active career, committed $25,000.
Harbour View Football Club (HVFC), which was instrumental in the staging of the benefit, and has been assisting generally in several bids to aid the recovery of Gaynor, will make an announcement as it relates to their contribution at the end of March.
The ‘Stars of the East’s contribution will coincide with the end of a month-long campaign which is currently on the way and is aimed at raising funds to assist in Gaynor’s rehabilitation.
It was also announced during the match that persons wishing to make a contribution towards the campaign can do so by using an account that has been established for him, through HVFC, at the National Commercial Bank. The account number is 204095744.
Gaynor is a household name as it relates to Jamaica’s football during the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s, before falling prey to lateral sclerosis in 2008, just a few weeks after participating in a celebrity football match in Atlanta, USA along with fellow former national players Anthony Corbett and Richard Green.
A member of Camperdown High School’s triple winning 1982 urban area Manning, Walker Cup and all-island Olivier Shield team, Gaynor’s most notable accomplishments as a player was being a member of Jamaica’s historic team which won the Shell Caribbean Shell Cup in 1991, which placed third at the CONCACAF Gold Cup in 1993.