Monday January 3, 2022, was one of the most painful days that I have experienced to date.

On that day my friend/brother Glen Sealy passed away in Ville de Grange, France. A good morning greeting on WhatsApp, as was my usual daily ritual with Glen, turned out to be my last, when his son Gregg replied saying his Dad had just passed away an hour ago from a massive heart attack after paramedics spent almost 40 minutes trying to revive him.

It was such a shocker that I had to confirm by returning the call immediately. After a brief conversation with Greg, my wife and I could not hold back the tears. Being the first to know I then called Frankie Mahabir—our oldest brother from our 1965 Fatima College team—in New York to relay the sad news, so he could inform other team members with whom we remained in close contact such as Roger Duprey, Roderick “Buffy” James, Glen Billouin and others.

When I regained my composure I began to reflect on our more than 55-year-long friendship.

I first met Glen in 1965 at Fatima College. We were in the same class, so we saw each other every day. He was very enthusiastic about football and loved goalkeeping. He would challenge me to one versus one games in the empty classroom using as much scrap paper that we could find to make footballs. I would shoot on the volley while he practised his reflexes. We continued during break time on the school compound, using whatever was available to kick. And then we went to 1st eleven training on Fatima’s football field after school at 4 p.m. We continued training on our own whenever we had the time.

His first opportunity to play in an InterCol final came as a substitute goalkeeper in a game against QRC and he solidified that position in the remaining games against QRC in the semi-final and St Mary’s College in the final. We went on to win the InterCol final against St Mary’s in 1965 for the first time in our school’s history after a 14-year hiatus.

We remained friends after college after I moved on to professional soccer in the United States and he moved to Geneva where he stayed for a while as his mom was in the diplomatic service. We continued to practise whenever we met in Trinidad and our friendship grew stronger as we became parents and grandparents.

Glen was always a loving and caring person. He had strong personal views and was never afraid to represent, show leadership and give good advice. He always had my back. His laughter was infectious and family gatherings with our young children were always full of fun. He loved dogs and gave my son Gabre his first pet; a Belgian shepherd pup.

I will miss our regular conversations and laughter. He was a great friend indeed. My deepest condolences to his wife Marie, sons Greg, Gary, Ryan and Jason, his grandchildren, his brother Gene, uncle Frank and all members of our victorious 1965 InterCol championship team.