`Mice’ Cummings remembers playmate Gibbons as a very ‘smart defender’

first_img… Former national player to be laid to rest todayFORMER national forward and arguably Botofago’s best football player ever, Nigel ‘Mice’ Cummings, is saddened by the death of former national player Phillip ‘Scholar’ Gibbons, who will be laid to rest today after a funeral service at the Calvary Temple Church in Oronoque Drive, Retrieve Mackenzie, before his remains are interred in the Bamia cemetery on the Linden highway.Gibbons, 55, died after a brief illness at the Mackenzie Hospital on January 2.His buddy friend ‘Mice’ Cummings, now residing in the United States, sent his condolences to the Gibbons family on this sad occasion.From his base in the U.S. Cummings said: ‘Scholar’ and I grew up together and we started playing soccer at a tender age at the Silvertown battlefield where we played Under-16 and Under-19 first- and second-division football for Botofago FC and then Upper Demerara.”Cummings noted, “As team members he was our right-back and I loved to play with him because of the love and dedication he had for the game. He was a very smart defender.”According to `Mice’ Cummings, Gibbons would before taking a corner kick yell out his name as Gibbons was “right on point in finding my head”.Cummings said he recalled the time his very good friend “got married and moved from across the Demerara River at Wismar to Mackenzie, but ‘Scholar’ remained a Botofago die-hard and was very pleasant and free-handed.”Cummings said when he first had knowledge of Gibbons’ sickness they (Botofago FC) did contribute to his eye surgery and while he was at home last year he did visit Gibbons to see how he was doing.Gibbons, after his playing days were over remained committed to football and served the Upper Demerara Football Association (UDFA) as a referee for many years. He was also up to the time of his passing, treasurer of the Mackenzie Sports Club.After his years of service to the bauxite industry ended, the former Mackenzie High School student was at one time Town Clerk (ag) with the Mayor and Town Council of Linden.Cummings remarked, “When I heard the news of his passing, it was a shock to me still. I am still in mourning and he said the former standout Botofago player would be greatly missed.”President of UDFA, Terrence Mitchell, also weighed in on the passing of Gibbons as he remembered the contributions of the former national player not just as a player, but also as a referee.He was always willing to give his best and always there to do what was necessary to let the game be played on the field.President of the Mackenzie Sports Club (MSC), Avery Trim, also remembers Gibbons who was always willing to serve beyond the call of duty.Trim said, “He was one of those guys whom you can count on, to put the interest of the club first, even though he knew the challenges which were ahead of collective decision-making.He said he was one of a few persons who were always present to assist and get the job done and even through his illness he was still prepared to serve the club.last_img