Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 25th 2015 Contents B8
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Friday, December 25, 2015
For the past 25 years, Christmas time at Eagles
Recreation Club was always a treat. The Club that
was the meeting place for the footballers Lennox
Carter mentored and a watering hole for a good
cold larger, transformed to a play world for the
children who lived around Savannah Drive, Five
Rivers. Savannah Drive connects to a matrix of
streets along Range Road---the main street that
heads north. Not too far away is Kandahar, a com-
munity that is perceived as a crime hot spot.
Although Carter was diagnosed with Parkinson s
Disease in 2013, that has not stopped him from con-
tinuing the tradition he began. With the support of
family and friends, the event that started as a sing-
along in the area, became a must-have annual event.
"Every year, they look towards that. I not giving
it up for nothing," Carter said. His hands shook
uncontrollably as he held on to his cane, but with
the support of his sister and nieces, he was able to
pull it off once again. He was host to some 300 little
guests who had fun in the bouncy castle, got their
faces painted, enjoyed their snacks and welcomed
Santa with open arms. Carter gets rather emotional
when he sees some of his former guests, now grown
up, bringing their little ones to partake in the tra-
Carter is known by some of his friends as Fuee.
His younger brother and former national goalkeeper,
Earl "Spiderman" Carter said he got his nickname
after some friends overheard him trying to call a
dog. "He could not get the sooting sound from
pressing his lips together, so instead he called out
to the dog by saying foo-ee . His friends heard and
that name stuck," he said.
Earl said Carter inspired him to be in football.
Although she would have preferred him to be in
track and field, Mummy only allowed Earl to go
where his big brother went---football matches that
also featured cousin Aldric Buggy Haynes and Keith
Aqui who were considered legends on the field. The
rival teams were Paramount, with players such as
Gally Cummings, and Slinging Guns from the East.
Back then when Carter used to play defense, the
professional football league was vibrant---each player
getting as much as $300 a game. "I used to butt
good with my head," Carter recalled of his football
Carter, Earl said, also had the opportunity to move
beyond the professional league at the football field
now known as Eddie Hart Grounds in Tacarigua but
preferred to set the example for the younger foot-
ballers so that they would have better opportunities
in the game.
By then, Haynes played for Malvern and encour-
aged Carter to play with him. Carter also had an
opportunity to play with the national team but he
gave that up to establish a youth team. He didn t
have a secretary or a club then but he was determined
to make it happen.
"I love football more than food," said Carter.
"Buggy used to say we really have to take over to
keep the children in line."
The folks in the area consider him more than a
football legend, but a person who put his community
first. Born in Cane Farm but later settled in Five
Rivers, Carter and his family is one of the better-
known names in the area. Besides football, he con-
tributed to the development of a netball team and
he supported the Best Village performers. Among
them was MP for Lopinot/Bon Air West Cherrie-
Ann Crichlow-Cockburn. Carter sponsored her Best
Village Queen costume that carried a football theme
as she portrayed none other than Spiderman.
"Money was coming out of his pocket," Earl said.
"He didn t have a sponsor for the league he started
either. Fuee ended up borrowing money for the tro-
Nothing can stop
Christmas and football
phies and the prizes and after that the league stopped
because he had no more money. Then the people
around the area got shot. He was about keeping the
youngsters on the straight path."
As the Christmas party remains a staple in the
community, Carter plans to revive another. Despite
his medical condition, Carter sees the need for the
return of the football league, if only to ensure some
peace among the young men in the area. The league,
he said, will begin in August 2016.
Lennox Carter, presents a gift bag to Summer Chase, as other children wait to
receive their own, during the Carter family's annual christmas treat at their
home in Arouca earlier this month. PHOTO: SHIRLEY BAHADUR
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