NIGEL “Grovy” Grosvenor was remembered for the love he had for his family, football and pan, but also for the care he showed for all the young footballers during his coaching career that spanned over 30 years.
Grosvenor, 63, a recovering cancer patient, contracted covid19 over a month ago and had been hospitalised since. He died on Friday.
Grosvenor began coaching St Anthony’s College in 1983 and spent more than 30 years at the school. He transformed the Westmoorings school into a powerhouse, leading the “Tigers” to multiple Intercol titles.
After leaving St Anthony’s a few years ago he spent three years with Queen’s Royal College (QRC) where he led the school to creditable performances in the Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) premiership division.
Several players he coached at St Anthony’s went on to represent the national senior team including Jan-Michael Williams, Kenwyne Jones and Carlos Edwards. Grosvenor was also a physical education teacher and dean at St Anthony’s.
On Wednesday, hundreds were glued to Youtube to view Grosvenor’s funeral at the St Peters Catholic Church in Carenage.
Among those who attended the funeral were his wife Vanessa and his three children – Qian, Quishelle and Qia.
In the eulogy, Qia said, “Our Daddy is a legend, our Daddy is a hero. He is an icon. He is the greatest father out there, not only to my brother, my sister and I but to many other young men and women out here.
“Daddy did everything for us without hesitation. He did not have a favourite child. We were all spoiled endlessly by him.”
His daughter remembered how much he cared for his students and players at St Anthony’s.
“He made it his priority to ensure that his students would grow up to become successful young men. He would try his best to ensure that they all left St Anthony’s heading in the right path either by getting them football scholarships, getting them in the Pro League teams, putting them on to scouts or even joining the Defence Force.”
Qia thanked QRC for accepting her father where he ended his coaching career.
“He was welcomed into QRC with open arms, with boundless love and respect from the principal Mr David Simon and his friend Shaky and all the other staff members. We thank you for loving him and welcoming him into the Royalian family.”
Qia said Grovy was delighted in his role as grandfather for the past two years, saying he had a special bond with his granddaughter Erin. “On the 8 of February 2018 he became the happiest man alive. He was a proud grandfather…he acted as if she was the last grandchild in the world.” Qia said every morning her father and Erin had a routine as they would feed birds together and look at cars drive by.
Simon was among many who made comments on the live stream, along with former QRC captain Anfernee Stokes.
Others who expressed their sympathy to the family online were former St Anthony’s College footballers Jones, Abiola Clarence, Julius James and Edwards. Several St Anthony’s College well-wishers wrote “Once a Tiger always a Tiger” during the service. The funeral was shown online because only ten people were allowed to attend because of covid19 regulations.
Grosvenor’s coffin was draped with an SSFL flag, along with St Anthony’s and QRC apparel.