Home / Volley / Global Football / “I feel like a total failure!” Ex-T&T World Youth Cup star, Rochford, still awaiting surgery after 18 months of runaround

“I feel like a total failure!” Ex-T&T World Youth Cup star, Rochford, still awaiting surgery after 18 months of runaround

“I does watch myself in the mirror every day,” former T&T national youth and senior team midfielder Jean-Luc Rochford confessed. “[I ask myself] how you come from being a national player, from scoring in a World Cup, from creating history, to being somebody who cyah even play the game they love? I feel like a total failure.”

Rochford has an ACL injury, which requires surgery. With luck, the tired Arima native will be able to get it done at the San Fernando General Hospital soon.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Jean-Luc Rochford celebrates after scoring against Egypt at the 2009 Under-20 World Cup.

“Mt Hope say they don’t do the surgery there,” a still hopeful Rochford told Wired868, “but San Fernando seem like they really willing to help. They already ordered the equipment and thing already. I on top the list so I am just waiting on a date.”

It may happen. If it doesn’t, it won’t be the first time. And the 27-year-old will see his whole world, built around a promising football career, continue to crumble…

In 2009, T&T football fans all celebrated as an 18-year-old Rochford wheeled away in celebration after silencing a 74,000-plus crowd at the Borg El Arab Stadium in Alexandria, Egypt, in the opening match of the FIFA Under-20 World Cup against the hosts.

That was then. Today, a forgotten, struggling, almost broken Rochford battles with his harsh new reality, far from the eyes of the world, the fans and, worst of all, those who have it within their power to render assistance.

“This is the worst thing that ever happened to me,” he told Wired868. “Angus [Eve] drop me in the [Trinidad and Tobago National] Under-23 and that never hurt me like this. It’s so much. It’s just depressing.”

Let’s go back: It is 12 August, 2016. Rochford is at the Larry Gomes Stadium training field. North East Stars pre-season training is in progress and he is bidding to earn a contract with the club for the 2016/17 season.

Photo: Former San Juan Jabloteh midfielder Jean-Luc Rochford (right) battles for possession with Police FC captain Todd Ryan during a Pro League encounter in the 2013/14 season.
(Courtesy Allan V. Crane/ Wired868)

Fate steps in. His foot goes down in a hole on the field, he twists his knee and tears his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL).

Fast forward 18 months to the present.

“You feel I wanted to get injured?” he asks Wired868 rhetorically. “You feel I put my foot down in the hole for spite to twist my knee? No!”

“I find it ridiculous,” he continues. “I represented the country since Under-15, Under-16, Under-17, went two World Cups, represent in the Under-23s, get my first senior team cap in 2012.”

“I dedicated my life to football and to the country,” he adds, “and I just asking for a lil bit of help. I not even asking for money, that’s the thing. I asking for a letter to go to the public hospital (to get to the top of the list) to get the surgery done.

“I asked the people who I think I should have asked—the Minister of Sport, the Federation (TTFA), North East Stars, Ross Russell (North East Stars head coach at the time). They ain’t even help me do nothing. When I get injured, it was just like whatever.”

Photo: Ma Pau Stars players (from left) Glenton Wolffe, Carlos Edwards and Jason Scotland stand over a free kick during the First Citizens Bank Cup final against Defence Force at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Port-of-Spain on 2 December 2016.
(Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)

To be fair, although the people and entities he identifies have not been very helpful, others have been in Rochford’s corner, 2006 World Cup veteran Carlos Edwards among them.

Edwards, who has suffered similar injuries in the past, returned from the UK to play for North East Stars for the 2016/17 season, the first time in 16 years that the former England Premier League winger—nicknamed “Rolls Royce” by Sunderland fans—had suited up in local club colours.

Rochford turned to Edwards for advice soon after his injury and, under the guidance of former National Team doctor Terence Babwah, he was advised to have an MRI done to confirm the extent of his injury.

A request to North East Stars for assistance in getting the MRI done met with repeated run-arounds and fob-offs for several months.

Completely disenchanted by North East’s lack of real response, Rochford contacted Minister of Education Anthony Garcia, both his former principal at Fatima College and his Member of Parliament.

Thanks to Garcia, NCRHA Health Director Dr Rodney Ramroop arranged for the MRI to be completed at Mt Hope in December 20. Free of charge.

Photo: Education Minister and Arima MP Anthony Garcia.
(Courtesy News.Gov.TT)

The MRI confirmed the existence of an ACL tear which, it also confirmed, would require surgery. The surgery at a private institution, Rochford discovered, would cost some TT$30,000.

Knowing that that was well beyond his financial means, Rochford began some fund-raising initiatives and actively sought assistance from various bodies.

In April 2017, he successfully raised about TT$14,000 through a BBQ. Still short of his target, he reached out to another medical doctor specialised in sports medicine who began working to see what could be done.

In early May, she presented the beleaguered former national player with a list of private and public institutions he might try. Because Sangre Grande Hospital had openings in its orthopedic surgical list at the time, it was decided to try his luck there.

At last, a glimmer of hope!

A mirage! To date, there have been four surgery appointments—and four postponements. From lack of equipment to shortage of beds to surgical doctor absenteeism, Sangre Grande Hospital cited a number of reasons for the delays.

Photo: Sport Minister Darryl Smith (right) makes a point to Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) president David John-Williams at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva on 26 March 2017.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

“They told me the surgery was 19 August,” Rochford told Wired868. “My grandmother had died right before but 18 August I went up to the hospital because they told me I had to get warded but they had no beds. From 8am to 4pm, I was up there waiting and nothing.

“Then they told me come back October. Then they told me come back January—same thing.”

His frustration mounting, Rochford turned his focus to getting a letter from Minister of Sport Darryl Smith and TTFA General Secretary Justin Latapy which attested to his service to the country over the years. With it, he hoped to make a request for priority surgery at one of the hospitals in the country.

“I asked Cornell Glen, who is my personal friend [for help],” Rochford explained. “He knows the Minister of Sport pretty well so he called him. The Minister said he would dig into it and try to help me out as soon as possible.”

“That was five months ago,” he added, holding up an open palm. “No word from him yet.”

“I asked the Federation (TTFA) and I was told I didn’t get injured on the national team so they can’t help, they don’t have no money, this, that and the other.

“But I was just asking for a letter. I spoke to Justin. Same thing: run-around!”

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago forward Cornell Glen (centre) poses with staff at the San Fernando General Hospital after breaking his arm in a Gold Cup qualifier against Haiti on 8 January 2017.

Currently, the funds raised from the BBQ have all but disappeared, for medication, painkillers and therapy expenses having whittled away at them. And Rochford is hurting—in more ways than one.

“It hurts,” he told Wired868. “This is my career! I just trying to get back on the field because this is my way of making a living.”

Rochford’s family is rich but in footballing talent. Older brother Jovan is the assistant coach of TTSL 2017 runner-up FC Santa Rosa and his younger brother Jean-Paul is a former T&T National Under-17 midfielder and a QRC standout. But they are a family of modest financial means.

“I doh really depend on [my parents],” the middle brother told Wired868, “I doh really ask them for anything. But still like, if they need help, I cyah do anything,”

“They seeing me hurting,” he continued. “As my mother say, she doh like how depressed I does be, how down I does be. She doh like that because that’s not who I am. She seeing that it hurting me and she find I shouldn’t take that hurt and change who I am.”

“She seeing that I want it to happen and it not happening.”

Photo: Former Trinidad and Tobago National Under-20 midfielder Jean-Luc Rochford (second from right) is congratulated by teammate Jamal Gay (top) after his goal against Egypt while goalkeeper Glenroy Samuel (right) looks on during the Egypt 2009 Under-20 World Cup.

There are three things he wants to happen. The first is that the help he needs materialises so that he will be able to join his siblings on the field of play once more.

“First of all I want to play football. That’s the love. I just don’t want to say alright career done, that’s it. I would like to play until about 32 or 33 and then I could see myself going into the coaching.”

Number two is that his dream remains alive.

“Like I had an agent working for me and I was getting through for El Salvador and these places. I just come and get injured.

“[Playing overseas], that’s my dream complete. I never thought I’d represent the country and I end up doing that. I never thought I would go to two World Cups and I end up doing that. So all that was just a bonus.

“The only part of my dream that I ain’t fulfill as yet is playing abroad. Once I can play abroad, that’s it for me then.”

But for him, the really big, urgent one is to get the surgery done.

“…because I know later down in life it will humbug me. Because if I getting pain now, imagine when I am 40 or 45, the pain will be unbearable. I don’t want it to reach there. It’s just a little help I asking for.”

Photo: Central FC goalscorer Jean-Luc Rochford (front) and his teammates celebrate with the 2015 Caribbean Club Championship trophy.
Looking on is Central FC operations director Kevin Harrison (top left) and Bankers Insurance CEO Vance Gabriel (top centre).
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

His pain, his frustration is palpable. But through it all, he has not forgotten the efforts made by his football colleagues like Jan Michael Williams, Leston Paul, Aubrey David, Yohance Marshall, Sheldon Bateau, Ryan Stewart and the others who continuously try to keep his hopes and his spirits up.

“Jan and the others call just to check up on me because they know I down and depressed. It’s hard but I still have to thank some people.”

Chief among these “others” are the medical doctors and the Education Minister. Without them and their efforts, he ended on a positive note, all would seem at the moment lost.

“Mr Garcia real try, Dr Ramroop real try, some of the others real try too,” he said, a forced smile playing at the corners of his mouth. “Babwah still trying so hopefully this one pulls through.”

Editor’s Note: Offers to assist Jean-Luc Rochford tumbled in to Wired868 within minutes of this story’s publication including contact made from representatives of the Public and Private Sector and Health Minister Dr Terrence Deyalsingh. We will update readers on Rochford’s progress and would like to say “thank you” to his well-wishers.

This is the first in Wired868’s new monthly series, which aims to highlight social cases that merit national attention.

Do you know of any such cases? Please send email with as much details as possible as you can to Wired868 director Lou-Ann Sankar at louann@wired868.com.

About Amiel Mohammed

Amiel Mohammed
Amiel Mohammed is a sports enthusiast and has worked in communications for Central FC and the Women's Premier League TT. He has also pioneered numerous projects geared towards creating opportunities for the differently abled such as the Differently-Abled Football Camp 2015 and Focus Football Coaching Academy.

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  1. We have spoken to start rehab as soon as the Dr gives the okay.

  2. He opted for government assisted surgery on Friday 16th. We all wish him well for a successful surgery and a speedy and complete recovery. Keep well Jean Luc. God is good.

  3. Did Jean-Luc ever get his surgery?

  4. Having experienced the exact same injury in the same exact way… i waited 2 yrs before having mine done…a further 6 weeks before therapy was started (due to the fact my doctor’s appointment was at that time and therapy scheduled to start 2 weeks after that, {i’m at some fault for not researching aftercare}.)
    Eventually it was done at San Fernando ….special thanks to the staff of Ward 4!!! I have no confidence in the system…some ppl within the system will do their best to help!
    Prepare yourself Mr. Rochford!!! The mental battle your about to face is just beginning!! Don’t dwell on the past, remember use it to motivate your rehab when the time comes!
    I personally wish you all the best as i can truly say i know how feel!
    Good Luck !!

  5. Trinidad has gone through many years now..

  6. This young man is not a Politician. If he was a Politician, he would have gotten all the help needed. I get so upset.

  7. This is a sad state of affairs, and all persons who served distinctly in the various areas in culture, sport, members of the protective services and any other significant areas should be treated with greater respect.

  8. Being a football player entitles you to special treatment?

  9. Same with me i represent this country in football and it’s like no thanks but don’t worry the strongest soilders gets d hardest fights

  10. It is sad day when our tax dollars cannot even afford/ guarantee the average Trini decent healthcare. I know of personal horror stories where very ill people are given dates for surgery years (2/3 and upwards) in the future where they would be more likely to die from said illnesses (or complications) BEFORE the given surgery dates. PRIVATE HEALTH INSURANCE (CRITICAL ILLNESS COVERAGE) IS A MUST IN TRINIDAD & TOBAGO.

  11. Parents dont waste your kids time with doing anything for Trinidad…..especially if u expect to be respected and compensated in the future

  12. Football eh the sport that is making the most money in the world not even recognized in this country treating the players like shit, after they representing the country, when the youths doing shit it’s a problem when they doing and trying to make the best of themselves the leaders not even making and effort to surport them

  13. Boy I doh know it real hard out here yes..

  14. When they leave here to represent for other countries we say yeah he’s ah dog .Always remember that foreign countries knows how to treat with raw talent by offering de best check it out from track and field to football tell me if the majority of those representing them were actually full nationals of their respective nations

  15. God is giving you a sign. Don’t do your surgery here. You might end up worse. Just look at Rowley and other ministers….just an observation

  16. This is a terrible stance to adopt. It is unethical to prioritize ANY patient based on STATUS in most of the world and typically illegal hence why the black market for body parts and surgeries have clientele. No one is skipping citizen on a pending surgery list because they’re famous just because another citizen chose a different life that is madness. All humans are to be treated equally in the eyes of medical practitioners, and their spot on the list ranked according to medical necessity only.

  17. Such a pity Jean Luc ! I know how good you are and your passion for football..(it’s a Reyes ting). I pray that your faithfulness to God will work in your favour

  18. Brent Garcia Jade Jones to do dis surgery private is real money. I spend close to 90,000

  19. Needed the same surgery a few years ago, tried to get it done in the public hospital as well for 2 years and every time they scheduled it and I went in… they cancelled and rescheduled… this happened like 3 times in the 2 years. Public hospital is a waste. Got it done privately in 2 weeks but it cost a fortune . Wwgd

    • This is where good insurance comes in so you can either let the isnurance pay upfront or reimburse. Additionally, Public hospitals are indeed the worse. My family member broke her knee cap and she had to wait in a room where it was rundown and had no space for her to walk. Evidently saw a man went to another room only to realise it was the resident’s family and the room was soacious and could have accommodated my family member. Everything is politics. Also had another experiemce where my orher family member had a heart attach going on for hours. We had no choice but to take him to a private hospital and thank God we did. Surgery was done immediately. Both incidents were a good 7-8 years apart and this was happening. I not sure whats the cause of this but it is quite sad.

  20. Sad , many more still waiting in line .

  21. In excess of 2million dollars spent on medical treatment for the Minister of Communications but no help for this guy who represented TNT. SNFH.

  22. That is so sad, he deserve better.Hope he gets his operation speedily.

  23. The truth is nobody in this country care for you like you are for your country you would not be the first or last…Money is your only way out pal

  24. I could hardly make my home team and I get tru with that acl surgery in two weeks

  25. What’s new….. and wonder why we have pools of players that never want to even play for tnt and have much more to offer than the jokers on the squad.

  26. This is madness plain and simple. This youngsters career is in danger of total disaster. His surgery was to be done the day after its detection not a letter to do so after 18 months. This is absolute rubbish. This shows you the value or rather the lack of value in thinking about one another and the sport on a whole.

  27. You have done so much for your country and yet still you have to wait.Keep the faith somehow god will help you.

  28. Guess he is not rich white or privileged

  29. This is unfortunate but I know oh so true, national icons get means nothing to most

  30. MP Darryl Smith do something this is heart wrenching come on

  31. Sad to say but trinidadians only like yuh when yuh win or famous. Who knew the guy before the black panther movie? Now half of Dem proud to b trinidadians

  32. But everybody vex when French M call us third world.

  33. Please Set up a fund to do it private so we can all assist…

  34. Jean-Luc I wish that you will get the surgery and have a full and speedy recovery.God’s blessings to you .

  35. And these jackasses buying boats without engines!!!!

  36. That’s so sad I do hope and pray that the right people see this story and help this son of the soil.

  37. When any Minister of any political party dat is in power in dis country needs medical attention ,what happens ppl. Good luck Jean-Luc Rochford,I hope dat you get your operation and dat it’s successful. God’s speed and blessings bro.

  38. You eh see how they responded to Richard Thompson application for help and he is a Olympic T&T medalist them fellas in charge don’t business about nobody right now.

  39. If clubs can do this to a recognised national baller ….can you imagine injured individuals with a lesser public profile? I shame for us …..smfh

  40. In the midst of the foolishness, humanity reigns still. Lest we forget.

  41. Kester it is best to wait until mid-week or so. At present at least two doctors have offered to operate for free, which would mean that Jean-Luc only has to fund cost of using facility. Then there have been offers to help from staff at Ministry of Health and the minister.
    I see nothing wrong with someone who has given national service being prioritised in the same way that a MP or Prime Minister gets his medical bills taken care of.
    Maybe the Health Ministry would offer facilities for the private doctor to operate for free. Dunno.
    Definitely there are people like yourself who want to dip in their pockets and that is excellent. But by next week we will have a better idea of what Jean-Luc needs.

  42. I am not in support of any attempts to circumvent the process that currently obtains at the hospital. I certainly hope that it is not even a consideration by the MOH either.

    • So how soon can this be done eh and if his story was told just before Mr Live Wire football festival that just passed in January eh he wudda received the monies at the game especially when my foreign base players were in the country eh that now have their own businesses in my second sweetest country eh when I tell alyuh Trinis does really stick eh Anyway everything does always happen in my Father God timing eh so let’s get the ball rolling

    • He’s not circumventing anything, you don’t think orthopedic surgeons the world over bump patients when professional athletes show up for surgery at their clinics? That’s not to suggest that the athletes are ‘special’ or better than common folks, but unlike us, they have a finite professional window in which to earn a living, so returning them to fitness naturally takes priority over the busdriver or office worker with the torn ACL.

    • I totally disagree with what ur saying. That has not been my experience skipper. The MUSC had a battery of surgeons to service 3 universities, 2 professional sports teams and the general public. Orthopedic surgeries usually had a 2 – 3 week wait period. That was standard, I was never aware of anyone being bumped up ahead of anyone else. In the most litigious country I’m not sure that is possible without being buried in a lawsuit.
      At any rate, in our public health care system there are many folks who would have contributed to health surcharge for all their working lives and have had to endure the indignity of inordinate waiting periods for medical attention. The minister needs to focus his attention on fixing this broken system so that all citizens can enjoy a benefit that we and those before us are mandated to pay for.

    • Not in our sweet country eh which is not a real country Them really good yes

  43. Lasana Liburd, I’m putting this out to you. Let’s get 50 people on wired to contribute $600 each to raise the 30K or 100 @ $300 each anything extra can go towards his rehab. In fact I’m putting it out to 50 or 100 on volley. Lasana can coordinate the process from here on in.

  44. I would like to suggest that footballers past present and administrators get together form a players association and make access to insurance and other avenues to assist players in these situations

  45. Its really hard reading this about my school mate/ former captain of Holy Cross College JL Rochford. Bro I really feel your pain… Just know that God Is With Everyone of us….. So Plenty Prayers and he’ll guide you where he wants you.

  46. And people vex if these same athletes choose to put their loyalties elsewhere…sigh

  47. Stay strong bro you did fail T&T failed you don’t worry God is great.

  48. This is unacceptable to say the least. Young man doing his best to represent TnT and this is the treatment!!!!?? Something wrong here I refuse to believe they are so callus and unpatriotic to ensure this young man gets the best of treatment. Madness

  49. I love football, I love my country I work at posgh I will try and help

  50. The government do not care about the athletes real talk

  51. Congratulations welcome to the real trinidad an tobago

  52. Why do we treat our sportsmen and women with scant regard? Shame on the authorities

  53. Wired868 please open or cause to be opened, an account in a bank to help this sportsman. I would contribute part of my modest poor relief. I am confident that John Public can and will help.

  54. Remember Cro Cro? Hello John-Williams.. answer d phone… ah only calling fuh a letter! Sad!

  55. Total failure. For an injury like that didn’t know there was a long list awaiting operations.

  56. I am speaking on behalf of this young dedicated young man, please assist him in his cause, hasn’t he proven his dedication to his sport, and to his country, one act of kindness from any organization of Trinidad and Tobago. Help heal this brave, courageous, discipline and blessed with this gift, please one act of kindness, don’t give son God is with you always. Thank you business orgisanzion for taking the time to read this request?

  57. Great job for highlighting his plight and kudos to those who responded!

  58. Lol. Well it is not meant to be Sport only. But we will see how it goes.

  59. Footballers are not insured by their clubs?

    • The article specifically states that he was not under contract with the Stars but was training to earn a contract. Nonetheless, I think the club should have provided some sort of assistance.

  60. It pains me to read about this. It’s so shameful to see that ttfa could spend money on shit and not help someone who represented this country on various levels. But these ministers could frolick and drink rum. This is a total shame. Shame on you Minister of sport. Oh gosh man spend some of the money alyuh thief on a good cause nah.

  61. That series might end daily if u dealing with football in particular and sports in general

  62. Maxie Cuffie got 2.5 mil……i’m sure they could at least give you a letter…….smh

  63. This is football a “major” sport in TT could one imagine what other sports going through…

  64. We are in a sad place when we do not resowct; nor take care of our people…. someone in TTFA must do the right thing and deliver support to this young man

  65. Wonder What/Whom made Max Cuffie More Important than him..

  66. What madness is this I hearing here?

  67. I am one of those cases, or former cases.

  68. You sure you want to expose them like that? Ah mean….. Tobagonians have been putting up with these type of stories for as long as the river nile…. I’ll be a willing reader though..

  69. Once you’ve not in the spotlight in sports in our country the government and maybe some friends and family will neglect you. Why ? Because they are not benefiting from you again; sad reality

  70. Thanks for the update Wired868

  71. We treat our athletes poorly. They represent us and we should be grateful for all the hard work that they put into their discipline.

  72. Editor’s Note: Offers to assist Jean-Luc Rochford tumbled in to Wired868 within minutes of this story’s publication including contact made from representatives of the Public and Private Sector and Health Minister Dr Terrence Deyalsingh. We will update readers on Rochford’s progress and would like to say “thank you” to his well-wishers.

  73. Dear Lasana,
    It is a crying shame how easily we turn our backs on those who served our country on the sporting field. The TTFF’s Mr Latapy, while he is correct to say that Mr Rochford did not suffered an injury while representing our country, should consider the service to the country football for the country and should look for avenues for assisting the distressed Mr Rochford.
    I wish to suggest that we seek donations of $100.00 each from 300 persons like myself to assist Mr Rochford. Please advise where I can deposit my contribution.

  74. And just imagine that even the bootleg TTFA doesn’t even have any insurance for the players eh Mr Bound not to score was very lucky that is professional club abroad footed the bill when he bounce his head and decide to go into a tackle with the English goalkeeper and got a knee injury when the corrupted Jack Warner mama guy Them into bringing their national team to our sweet country to play against the Soca Worries promising them the World Cup 2022 eh and then never kept his promise Them really good yes yes

  75. That’s the story of T&T , “they doh like they own”disregard you when you are down and out, TRINIS love winners,if not you are discarded, How many have died as paupers, Is there health coverage for players who represent the country in their discipline of Sports? That’s why cricketers seek financial stability externally., Reality! Family before loyalty/patriotism (does not put food on your table and gets you nowhere in this country)

  76. I hear all of you read all the comments and i agree he should get help from all these agencies that turned their backs on him. But you know when he represented Trinidad he represented us to. Therefore I’m asking Wired868 to get an account number where we can start donating funds, hell it’s 30,000 needed. if 300 of us donate $100 that’s it right there. I’m pledging my 100. Let’s get it started.

  77. Lasana, I will make some enquires from a leader in the medical insurance industry, regarding the possibility of protection of National players at all levels. If there is a chance of something, he will find it. Have known him for over 50 years. It may not be possible, but we won’t know if we do not try. Will let you know when I get some feedback.

  78. Editor’s Note: This is the first in Wired868’s new monthly series, which aims to highlight social cases that merit national attention.
    Do you know of any such cases? Please send email with as much detail as possible to Wired868 director Lou-Ann Sankar at louann@wired868.com.

  79. I pray u get help its sad to c how ppl get treated in this country god is good u will get tru this

  80. Timothy, just spoke to Jean Luc. Making good progress. Sorry I was not aware before.

  81. This is so fking sad a youth who represented the country at the highest level with pride having to go through this.

  82. I hope that he does get help and have a successful operation.

  83. A positive role model smh an then they want d youths to try…..Leaders come on man

  84. Lasana, I suggest that we try to get some people to pledge funds to help, and we will work on getting the surgery done ASAP.

  85. players association really needs to get of the ground

  86. I am sure we can find 60 persons to give 500 or there about

  87. The politicians does say is not what the country could do for you is what you could do for your country I understand it now

  88. I glad I didn’t represent this country when the chance presented himself

  89. This is really an unfortunate set of circumstances which highlights one of our failings in sport in Trinidad and Tobago. The well-being of players in many instances seem to be an afterthought. I can confirm that Jean-Luc reached out to me last June for some help in getting the contact details of people in the TTFA who he could request assistance from in getting a letter.

  90. Boy better you did ask for a swimming pool.

  91. God is great hun you’ll get tru by his grace

  92. Every year players are asked to train for their spot locally at most teams, since their contracts usually end with the last game of the season. Despite if it is a winning season or not.

  93. I just really don’t know what to say.. why is this boy struggling to have his injury sorted like this. I cannot understand why between the TTFA, North east stars and the sports ministry why this cannot be remedied. Shame on them all.. just makes me sick.. our Sports Ministry is non functional..

  94. Let me just say that whether a player IS or is NOT under contract informs the decision on who is responsible for covering the medical bills, but it doesn’t decide (or to use the legal term, is not “dispositive of”) the issue. Even without a contract the team, and in some cases the facility, might still be liable, unless the player signed a waiver.

  95. Sad but true…you are not the first and won’t be the last…many t&t footballers are ignored once the game or they STOP playing

  96. I need to share this…
    Because slot of People still haven’t understand why I Stop Played Football for this Country….. this was one of my reason after seeing A Female Player… who have given her heart and soul for this country being rejected after she ask for some assistance to further her career abroad….

  97. What does the football body do for its players.

    • The TTFA didn’t take responsibility because although he is a national player, he was training with a Pro League club, North East Stars, when he got injured.
      And Stars have not sorted him out.

    • I think North East Stars should have insurance for him. Not sure

    • They all should have a choice as long as they represent. Maybe guidelines should be Instituted. Somebody has to get serious in the interest of players.

    • This is such a shame. It is like taking care of our own is a subjective thing. I mean, I know what is wrong with collective us eh, yet I ask, rhetorically, what the hell is wrong with us?!

    • Lasana Liburd agreed, a “pro” club supposed to have some sort of structure for its players from a medical perspective, insurance would be expected. What the TTFA should do is have a guidebook for prospective pro footballers to know the ins and outs of being a full time footballer and what should be expected in any football playing contract.

    • He said he’s not looking for money…

      So he has it. He’s just trying to get the surgery done quickly. Probably a game coming up or sum.

    • Kwasi it isn’t that he has the money otherwise he would have gone private. But he doesn’t want to beg anyone else.
      He just wants a little basic care in the public healthcare as he can’t afford to pay for it otherwise.

  98. I wish you speedy recovery soon bro

  99. Myself and a couple other players had. Form a players association but a lot of other players dont want to be part of it .so it was swept aside and there were no follow up on our plans

    • At the time I know Jack Warner and TTFA were intimidating players. And nobody tried after Jack had left.
      Of course Sancho and Harrison were big union men who became club owners after that.

    • Yep pretty much so . but we as players who been part of a professional setup should have put something like this in place like Eddie Poe from the U.S. national team start in the MLS to protect players from having a problem like my old team mate like Rockford

    • Fuad Abu-Bakr, you give up on the thing?

    • Yep Fuad Abu-Bakr had a lot going at that moment. We were still players

    • I haven’t given up but I am not able to inject the type of energy needed to push the stalled initiative into motion at the moment Lasana Liburd . T&T has too many passengers.

    • Fuad, Wired868 will give the players association as much assistance as we can. So do bear that in mind.

    • When players are fighting for survival economically it is hard for them to think about the bigger picture. Also when players have gotten out of poverty they seem to forget about improving the overall situation. Let me give a reminder to Conrad Smith Lasana Liburd Abdallah Phillips Radanfah Abu Bakr Kenwyne Jones Jan Michael Williams 2018 is a good year to get it done.

    • I’m for putting the energy in to it at the moment I’m not playing anymore. But we are stronger as a team Fuad Abu-Bakr Lasana Liburd

    • Yeah but the real TRUTH needs to be told as to why it never got started when the ex sports minister, Kevin Harrison,Stern John , Kelvin Jack, and Shaka Hislop was on board Them really good yes.

    • Everyone.. the players association never got going because you had players who were scared to be involved for fear of victimisation from the TTFA.. when we said enough was enough before a friendly against Finland some years ago they dropped us. They went to the army and other players decided to play. Those players who played were weak.. I think that Professional football needs to be sorted out once and for all in Trinidad and Tobago. The wrong stakeholders are there sorry to say. Huge sponsorship is needed., a complete overhaul. I have been chatting with various influential people within football to try to find solutions and inject fresh ideas.. this is not easy to solve. The dysfunction is staggering.. the most important aspect missing is sponsorship. I also firmly believe the government should help but ONLY for a very short period., maybe 3 years. The owners and officials of football clubs need to be innovative and devise a plan for their own club. To attract fans etc. The Professional football league is an embarrassment. It needs fresh faces and ideas..

    • And as I said that the Army and Police players will always have to play instead of ending up down in the hole for 40 days if they don’t comply with the orders of their seniors and this has been going on from a very long time ago even when the Brigidiare Mr Brown meh corrupted uncle Jack Warner right hand man who also made plenty monies in 1989 when is wifey raffled a vehicle that was parked in the Stadium at the exit where the ambulance does park and the color was red if anyone who is a member of wired was there and remember Them really good yes

  100. Has any club ever even paid NIS for a player?

  101. And it is now 18 months eh and it is only now asking for help eh and why his father never contacted me privately to let me know what was going on with my baller for life alyuh think that ah like the bacchanal in joke or what especially when it comes to our players and as my Father God said in his bible ‘Ask and thou shall receive Knock and the door shall be opened eh Timothy Rochford Them really good yes

  102. A full contact professional sport, where you will be tackled 20 times per game, and 50 times in practice, yet no insurance is ludicrous!

  103. As a teenager my wish was to represent my country in a sport, but if this is the way our representatives are treated, it a good thing I did not make it.
    For you Jean Luc you are not a failure, it is our country that has failed you. Shame on them.

  104. This saddens me…… Having worked with Jean-Luc, I know of his very high level of love and committment to his football…. Firstly, was it at a club that his ACL got damaged? Wasn’t he insured at the time? Regardless, Lasana, how can we use this forum to organize a fund raising for Jean Luc? I am prepared to assist where necessary

  105. I have no words…..somebody said something about a boat ride and/or crowd funding….count me in!!

  106. We will keep getting this news and players will keep being treated badly because the structure around football is BS. How can an association which wants to build competitive and successful teams not have in place medical insurance and proper retirement plans? We on this link can keep lamenting but without a proper “corporate” structure run by experienced executives nothing will progress. So now here we are managing a major football issue through charity. TT football and TT is going nowhere.

  107. Another player that neither the club owners or league cares about, or insurance would have been in place. How hard is a group insurance for players. Borfor,

    Jean Luc is a great person, well mannered, always willing to help, talented, a great addition to any team. The shame starts with Clubs only offering 10 month contracts to players, that don’t even guarantee their medical bills.

  108. So why the federation didn’t get him private help?

  109. There are private very good orthopedic surgeons who perform surgeries at Public Hospitals. Surely Dr. Babwah can help in this matter.

  110. This is bullshit no way his Federation fail him also

  111. AH LETTER BOI. He can’t get ah LETTER?

  112. One Boatride eh and it is ah done deal eh Lasana Liburd maybe we can promote it as Wired volley 868 or my other carnival and boatrides promoters can assist eh Derek Terron King and Devon Jorsling and also Darin Lewis cause it is long time now I stopped giving meh boatrides in my second sweetest country but I will definitely contribute to the cause

  113. This is so sad for this national sporting hero, it hurt to hear his story, he has so many contacts and all for naught. What about the unknown person? I would to hate to hear their story.

    • Good point. If HE can’t get help then what about the less illustrious Pro League players.

    • My story. This is not to make any one look bad but to highlight the system out there.
      My son played football for his school at the Intercol level. He was injured badly in his first game of that year, broken fibula and tibia. The first question I was asked is ” do you have insurance at work”. I responded yes.
      Based on that answer that is how the emergency surgery was scheduled at a private institution. When I saw my son in such extreme pain, I was glad I said yes to the insurance question and thanked God that I had such.
      The total surgery costed approximately $65,000.00. He currently had titanium in his foot and screws in his ankle.
      On the day of the actual surgery, the anesthetician had to paid first. I didn’t have the funds to do so, and I had to call a school administrator to cover that fee.
      Due to the fact that I had insurance, the school covered the initial fee for the surgery and I had to go through my work insurance to recover the fees and repay the school.
      He was out of school for a very long time after that.
      I also had to cover the therapy cost for rehabilitation.
      Basically such is the system.

    • Joanne thanks for sharing. And you can imagine the state of the children whose parents who don’t have insurance.

  114. Well how many times I keep on telling meh friend Dion Sosa and some players this is the reason why the Players Association needs to be up and running eh and just recently I assisted a player with some monies in order to get a plane ticket to head to Europe on trials eh, ah cannot be spending meh personal monies all the time so nah so let’s get together and help our players nah especially the ones who doesn’t have anywhere to turn to eh …

  115. Nigel Myers and Jamaal Shabazz, the Pro League still hasn’t arranged for insurance? Even as a group? I’m not sure how difficult that task is but it has been over a decade and there were times that we were better off financially.

  116. This is so sad… North East and all pro teams should have insurance to cover their players.

  117. Antoinette Sankar, could you help us set up crowdfunding for it? Of course he is just asking for priority here. And not even that he can get.

  118. Different athlete. Same story. Sigh….

  119. Good grief! $30,000 ttd isn’t a huge figure. Couldn’t ‘somebodies’ help with the fund raising? This is crazy

  120. Another example of the disrespect