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Warriors in mourning: Marvin Phillip loses 10-month-old son

The Trinidad and Tobago national football team was thrown into mourning today as 29-year-old goalkeeper Marvin Phillip received word from home that his 10-month-old son, Maitai, was found dead at the Anointed Angels daycare in Edinburgh, Chaguanas. Police are investigating the incident.

Phillip, a Point Fortin Civic goalkeeper with 44 senior full international caps and 19 clean sheets, will leave Brazil this evening to return to Trinidad accompanied by team co-manager Peter Rampersad. He will not be available for the “Soca Warriors” when they meet Iran on Sunday in a friendly international match in Sao Paulo.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago national goalkeeper Marvin Phillip gesticulates during his stint with Central FC. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago national goalkeeper Marvin Phillip gesticulates during his stint with Central FC.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

Initial reports from the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service suggest the child died from suffocation. Maitai’s mother, Leslie Halls, is a part-time SRP attached to the Gasparillo Police Station and is also employed with the TSTT Internet Support Division.
Sergeant Wayne Mystar told the Trinidad Express that the baby began crying at around 7 am and was placed in a car seat available at the nursery.
“They put the safety harness on the baby,” said Mystar. “About ten minutes past seven when they went to check on the baby, the baby was unresponsive. The baby was rushed to the hospital at Chaguanas District Medical Facility.

“It is suspected that the child probably suffocated or at least he strangled himself by tangling up with the seat belt. We are awaiting the autopsy result.”

The British Medical Journal, as referenced by PNM MP Dr Amery Browne, warned parents against leaving babies unchecked in car seats due to the possibility of breathing problems. Nine breathing deaths in New Zealand between July 1999 and December were believed to be linked to babies sleeping in upright positions.

“They found the babies’ heads tended to loll forwards, pressing the jaw into the chest, which made it harder for them to breathe,” stated the Auckland Cot Monitoring Service report. “Also, the muscles of the throat tend to relax when a person is asleep, narrowing the airway further.”

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago national football team goalkeeper Marvin Phillip (right) and his 10-month-old son Matai. Matai Phillip was found dead at his daycare today.
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago national football team goalkeeper Marvin Phillip (right) and his 10-month-old son Matai.
Matai Phillip was found dead at his daycare today.

Maitai’s death follows on the heels of the sudden passing of Phillip’s former girlfriend and mother of his first child, Aldella Gill, who succumbed to heart complications last month.

National head coach Stephen Hart expressed his sadness at the tragic episodes that his young goalkeeper has endured over the past month.

“This is a tragic moment in Marvin’s life (and) he has faced some traumatic moments in the last month,” Hart told the TTFA Media. “Our hearts go out to him and the family. This is such a sad moment; I cannot even begin to understand what he must be going through emotionally.

“All this really places life into perspective for myself personally and us as a team.”

Phillip was Trinidad and Tobago’s first choice custodian at the Under-17 2001 World Youth Cup and has represented the Warriors consistently over the past 13 years at every age group. He was on the substitutes’ bench on Wednesday night when the Warriors lost 3-0 to Argentina.

The national team landed in Brazil at 2 am today and Phillip awoke to the tragic news at 10 am. His teammates are said to be distraught.

Photo: The Trinidad and Tobago national football team prays for teammate Marvin Phillip during practice today at the Corinthians training ground in Sao Paolo, Brazil. (Courtesy Allan V. Crane/TTFA Media)
Photo: The Trinidad and Tobago national football team prays for teammate Marvin Phillip during practice today at the Corinthians training ground in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
(Courtesy Allan V. Crane/TTFA Media)

Phillip used team captain Kenwyne Jones’ cell phone to make the call that stunned him and the entire team.

“It’s a very difficult time for him and all of his right now,” said Jones. “I am a father as well. There are a lot of fathers in the team and no one wants to go through something like this. Our prayers and thoughts are with Marvin and his family.”

Hart has decided against summoning a replacement for Phillip, so Central FC’s Jan-Michael Williams will be the only goalkeeper in the squad on Sunday.

The national team trained this morning in Brazil and will try to keep its intensity, despite the tragedy, for the upcoming international fixture.

“The sessions will not be intense because we had a game just a little more than a day ago,” said Hart, “but we’ll be looking to do everything as right as we possibly can in relation to the match on Sunday. It’s good to be here and again it’s all part of the experience for our players.

“There is a lot happening football-wise right now. We are in the football capital of the world at the moment so there’s a lot to absorb at the same time.”

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago winger Lester Peltier (right) vies for the ball with Argentina defender Marcos Rojo (bottom) and forward Rodrigo Palacio during their friendly international on Wednesday. (Copyright AFP 2014/ Juan Mabromata)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago winger Lester Peltier (right) vies for the ball with Argentina defender Marcos Rojo (bottom) and forward Rodrigo Palacio during their friendly international on Wednesday.
(Copyright AFP 2014/ Juan Mabromata)

Jones said the Warriors will try maintain the buzz in the camp following their contest with 2014 World Cup contenders, Argentina.

“We were coming off a good experience in Argentina,” said Jones. “I think there has been a bit of a buzz in the camp and everyone was looking forward to Sunday’s match.

“We have to get our heads together again and channel our energies onto the football field as continue our preparations for Iran.”

 

Editor’s Note: Wired868 offers its condolences to Trinidad and Tobago national football stand-out, Marvin Phillip, and our prayers go out to him at this traumatic time.

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73 comments

  1. Amanda Aguilera-Lobin

    My deepest condolences go out to this family. It is possibly his worse nightmare come to life. I pray that God gives him the strength to go through this tough time.

  2. my condolences to the phillip family.

  3. My Condolences to You and your Family. May his Soul Rest In Peace.

  4. Heartfelt condolences to Marvin and his family……. words can never really convey the sadness that I felt on learning of this….. be strong, and may God give you the courage you need……

  5. It is so sad my condolences to you and your family

  6. So so sad.My condolences to the family

  7. O god it’s so sad condolences to the family

  8. That is horrible so sorry to hear this. My deepest condolences to Marvin and his family…..

  9. From Allah we came to Him we return……

  10. This is so sad well what next

  11. a friend of mine posted the video on her page. what she captioned though was shocking to me. If it is inappropriate here, just delete it. but i did want to share it…what do you all think. Now mind you, before i saw this…I had posted on my page…a question about a biblical allegory…either how children are consumed for all the iniquity of the adults about them and or remember the painting of doors so the maester of death would “passover” that house!! and then this…

    Marcia Smith Cpc shared C News Live’s video.

    “I think people are beginning to realize somebody is sacrificing the nation’s children.”

  12. Wtf this is damn shit now!

  13. Sorry for your loss Marvin.

  14. So sad, condolences to the family, and God’s guidance and peace.