THE Life of 24-year-old footballer Akil Stafford should be an exemplar for young people to follow.
So said his former secondary school coach, Gary Prescott as he commended Stafford's parents for raising a "well-grounded, ambitious, goal oriented, humble and disciplined man."
Stafford, a former student of the Naparima College worked as a bartender at South Park branch of Toppers Restaurant and Sports Bar but had plans to pursue a degree in Sports Medicine.
Last Wednesday Stafford drowned while bathing with friends at the Three Pools river near Blanchisseuse.
According to reports, shortly before midday that day, Stafford was with a group who hiked from Blanchisseusse to Paria.
When the hikers rested for lunch, Stafford decided to take a swim when he got into difficulties.
His funeral service was held this morning at the First Church of the Open Bible, Ruth Avenue in San Fernando.
The church was packed with family members, friends and employees of the Toppers Restaurant and Sports Bar, many of whom broke down in tears during the service. Stafford was laid to rest at the Roodal Cemetery.