FORMER TT footballer Clyde Leon, 37, has died. The football fraternity on Wednesday remembered Leon as a humble servant to the game and a lively person around the national team.
The Trinidad and Tobago Football Association said it was sending "deepest and most heartfelt condolences to the family of former national men’s team midfielder Clyde Leon following his passing this (Wednesday) morning. Reports are that Clyde succumbed to a heart attack earlier today.”
Leon, 37, had 48 caps for the national team. At club level, Leon was a long-serving member of W Connection and worked as an assistant coach under Stuart Charles-Fevrier after retiring. He was a former student of Princes Town West Secondary School.
Leon is the third former TT footballer to die over the past year and a half before turning 40.
Shahdon Winchester died in a traffic accident in December, 2019 and former national Under-17 captain Roderick Anthony also died in a road accident in January 2020. Winchester was 27 and Anthony was 35.
Leon was also a former TT youth player and served as national Under-17 and Under-15 assistant coach.
Speaking more of his career, the TTFA media release said, “The former W Connection FC player won the TT Pro League title with the club in 2011/2012. His final (TT) appearance came in a Caribbean Cup qualifier against Suriname on November 16, 2012 at the Dwight Yorke Stadium (in Tobago).
“Clyde was a loyal and humble servant to football who has left some wonderful memories that will never fade from our hearts. May his gentle soul Rest in Peace.”
On Facebook W Connection wrote, “Loss never gets easier, no matter how many times we say Rest In Peace. We are absolutely heartbroken and devastated by the sudden passing of Clyde. He was a Savonetta boy through and through and his passing will leave a void amongst us. We wish to extend condolences to his family, loved ones and friends. Please keep them lifted in your prayers for strength and comfort during this difficult time…Clyde we will miss you. Fly high in Paradise.”
National men’s senior football coach Terry Fenwick told Newsday, “It’s awful news. My condolences to his family. Everyone I have spoken to said he was a lovely guy and a great player. (It is) terrible that he is gone so early in life, really sad.”
Fenwick, a former local club coach, added, “I coached against him number of times, so I know quite a bit about him. Obviously this is such a shock, but I am hoping that (the) football (fraternity) will rally.”
Densill Theobald, who played alongside Leon on the national team, said, “After hearing about the passing of Clyde from (former footballer and coach) Earl Jean this morning it just left me saddened and distraught, more so because we shared a very close relationship.”
Theobald said after their playing days they kept in contact and used to talk about football.
“It just shows we have to appreciate life and appreciate each other.”
On a lighter side, Theobald said, “I remember Clyde as someone who loved to talk…Clyde was one of those fellows who don’t like to rest. Besides not liking to rest (and) because of his nature of loving to talk, he would always walk around to someone room to find some kind of talk going on around football to get himself involved…when you see Clyde coming to your room, you used to run to your room quickly and lock the door so you could get your rest.”
Theobald also described Leon as humble.
On Twitter, former national player Kenwyne Jones said, “I’m heartbroken. Sleep in Peace Clyde.”
Jones, who posted a picture of Leon and himself, earlier tweeted, “Sleep in Peace Clyde…love you my brother.”
A post on Facebook by Leon’s old school said, “Clyde was near and dear to the school and his name still resonates with us up to today. During his time at our institution in the early 2000s he contributed significantly both to victories on the field in Secondary Schools football and in the life and the mood of the school off the field.”
The release, written by physical education teacher Robert Warner, described Leon as “a beautiful soul from the beautiful game.”