I HAVE known Luciano Woodley, alias Lucy, from
our Form-Two days at St. Mary's College (CIC as we are more
Ever since those early days, I took to liking for Lucy.
Some of it, a kind of hidden jealousy, and some, just a
pure desire to match the expectations that he had set himself
as a footballer.
We played football in the "Small Yard" together
every lunch time and would compare each other's efforts
or goals. Then, we would carry that silent yet, passionate
inner "burnings" into the afternoon classroom
sessions until we got "down grounds", where we
would continue our quest to better each other feats.
We did this throughout out "Giants" and later,
"A Colts" years. This trend continued as we were
simultaneously called up to the Championship side at 14
years of age each.
Lucy was the younger, having his birthday in December and
I, in October. During both our years as playing for the
"A" Colts team, we also played for the Championship
We won every national age group championship and we were
both always competing for most goals at every turn, except
in the 1968 team.
I felt, from very early, that I was a better all-round player,
while as we aged, I had to succumb to the reality that he
was going to be the better goal scorer.
We were both on the championship winning team of 1968 that
overpowered QRC's mighty and highly touted team 2-1, with
the likes of Rolf Clarke, Roger Mathews, Neil and Larry
Springer, Ian Jeffers, Stephen Gomez, Earl Best and others.
Our fortune continued into the Island-wide championship
game against St. Benedict's College, where we gave an awesome
display with a 4-2 victory.
St. Benedict's themselves were hot favourites to win with
the Hackett brothers, Ruben, and others leading their charges.
But our team was a superb unit as far as understanding of
duties and roles were concerned, and in Intercol, we are
Fr. Reginald DeFour was the major organizational force behind
our youth development plan and game-day plans, though our
senior players would have his ears.
Our team was one that boasted the likes of Steve Waldron,
Russell Tesheira, Miguel Hospedales, Ian Bain, Alvin Henderson,
Richard Callender, Richard Brathwaite, Jackie Messiah, Wayne
Dopson, Michael Cooper, Alex Hamel-Smith, Rupert Wilson,
The best was yet to come when we, along with the outstanding
play and leadership of Alvin Henderson, carried the momentum
into 1969 under Michael Liang and then later, in that superb
year, 1970, under Alvin Corneal.
We were both 17-year-olds in 1970, and after myself playing
for Raffie Knowles and the ultra-talented Queens Park
squad, with the likes of Gordon Husbands, Roger Matthews,
Sheldon Gomes, George Romano, Ken Butcher, and others, I
was dispatched to Canada to complete my Grade 13 and first-year
Lucy continued and played one more year for St. Mary's College.
I played three years at the championship level and Lucy,
Overall, we played five very memorable years together and
shared one class, Form Three.
In our never-to-be-forgotten 1970 year, Lucy established
a college record by scoring 36 goals and in the process,
six hattricks, at least three of them, natural ones. He
was the league's leading scorer and I, the runner-up, with
Lucy's year was so great that he was called up for a North
team at the adult level and with his usual carefree ways
and bold assurance, he scored in his debut game at the King
George V Park.
I loved playing alongside Lucy and today, there are memories
of him and I together, that would never ever fade in visual
clarity or emotional high.
The last time I played alongside Lucy was in 2003 at our
annual old boy's CIC-Belmont clash and, as we did all through
our college years, we linked up with his patented decoy
run and I, my lay-off to him to, yes, score again.
There is no one that I could remember playing alongside
that allowed me to enjoy myself or play as well as I did,
and I had very good tandems in Alvin Henderson at St. Mary's
College, Sheldon Gomes at QPCC, Godfrey Harris at Maple,
Martin Bourne at UWI and Maple, Sammy Lewellyn at Essex,
Ron Laforest and Sammy Llewellyn at ASL, or anyone elsewhere
else that I have been or played.
There are so many things that I could remember about Lucy
and none that I would like to forget. The one thing I would
further state is that even back then, Lucy was never haughty,
boastful, or arrogant, and he always had that meek, sincere,
sheepish smile, and possessed a blending personality.
He was, however, just as miserable as all of us were as
children growing up, but he was different in that he held
his peace longer than we seemed able to, or so I thought.
Today, at 54 years of age, I can say that truly, "I
love Lucy" and I appreciate him more than I did back
then, MUCH MORE!
Lucy is all that every speaker made him out to be when they
delivered their eulogies last Thursday morning before he
was laid to rest.
In the busy world that we live in today, it is difficult
to make the time for each other as we once did so easily.
But after speaking with Lucy's wife, Lauren, from my St.
Louis home upon learning of his hospitalization, and then,
upon learning of his passing, I dialogued with my friends
Trevor Leiba, Ian Bain and Alvin Henderson, brother Labib,
my wife and family and it was clear that I had to attend
my friend's funeral.
My wife Annette, ne Kumar, of almost 28 years, and confidante
of, 37, knew what such a person meant to me and she fully
encouraged the visit. Naturally, it is always an excitement
to visit home as I miss it dearly and so the trip was essentially
I then consulted with the principal of my High School (LWCS)
over the weekend and with his consent, I purchased a last-minute
ticket that Sunday night for departure on Carnival Monday
to be at my friend's farewell and celebration of a life
I am exceedingly happy to have made it and I rejoice now
that I was with Lucy's entire family and host of friends,
colleagues and well-wishers at his farewell presided by
Fr. Girod. As sentimental as it was to be at the occasion,
it was made more meaningful since the service was held at
my childhood church in Woodbrook, St. Teresa's - the moment
Most fitting as well, was that very evening, we had our
traditional annual CIC-Belmont post-Carnival 22-year rivalry
which was then used to further honor Lucy.
The evening was so fitting that the skies shed some of its
tears as we prepared to play the great game. A product of
both Belmont and CIC, Lucy would have been proud of that
occasion which was very well attended by a host of soccer
greats including Everald "Gally" Cummings, Alvin
Corneal, Lincoln Phillips, Sedley Joseph, Michael Wiley,
Brian Rigsby, to mention a few. David Rudder, a former Belmont
boy was also in attendance from what I was told - I missed
meeting and chatting with him, a personal friend I consider
him to be.
The game was very well participated, and St. Mary's overcame
Belmont 3-0. I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of the two
thirds that I played. I felt great with the spirit in which
everyone conducted themselves, as I was with my performance
(I still love my football) despite my week-long illness.
I thank God for the privilege of playing yet another game
as we honoured my friend, Luciano "Lucy" Woodley.
The occasion was blessed with a pre and post game minutes
of silence and later, we were graced with some fine T&T
cuisine and fabulous "Old-Time" kaiso music performed
by the irresistible, Wayne Dopson, Charla Dore and others.
I submit this brief, but moving, passage in time, with the
greatest love and respect for my friend Lucy. I trust that
others too, share in this sincere exchange of love for Lucy,
for the game, and for what sport and this great game have
done for those of us who have played the game of football
especially during the eras and periods that we participated
- these are times never to be forgotten, and more so, always
to be cherished. Friendships are built that will last forever,
last beyond the ages; you understand this all to well my
friend of the Guardian, Gregory Trujillo.