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Rest in peace, ‘Striker for life’: a tribute to ex-St Benedict’s star, Reuel Tyson

“I remember [Reuel Tyson] as the kid who always talked and smiled… You saw him play [in the SSFL Premier Division] when he was injured, I saw him when he was on top of his game; but during all of those times, he never stopped smiling.”

Former St Benedict’s College coach and ex-Trinidad and Tobago international striker Dexter Cyrus pays tribute to 20-year-old ex St Benedict’s footballer, Reuel Tyson, who died in a vehicular accident in Missouri on 27 October 2018.

Tyson’s former St Benedict’s teammate, Mickel Ravello, and ex-Presentation College (San Fernando) player Mylz Barrington were also injured in the accident. All three were enrolled at Jefferson College, Missouri, after winning sport scholarships to the US-based college within the last three months:

Photo: St Benedict’s College forward Reuel Tyson (centre) tries to escape the attentions of Naparima College defender Tyrique Andrews during SSFL action at Lewis Street, San Fernando on 4 October 2017.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

I coached this kid from Form One. He was always smiling. I have never heard him raise his voice once; I have never seen him angry or pissed off. He was so respectful and humble.

Reuel Tyson single-handedly won a National Under-14 title for St Benedict’s College. He was 13 at the time and Mr Nolan Bernard was the coach of that team.

Mr Bernard had blind belief in Reuel’s ability as a striker. After Reuel won that title, Mr Bernard re-christened him “Striker fuh life.”

Mr Bernard used that as his new name and would always call him that. The name became contagious and everybody called him it regularly.

Reuel was a very exciting attacking player. He had very quick feet and an uncanny balance.

You never knew what side he was going or if he was about to turn or stop, because he had that deceptive way of handling the ball underneath his body. He could play either flank or attacking midfield. It was very clear what he could do in the last third [of the field] when the ball was at his feet.

Photo: Naparima College goalkeeper Levi Fernandez (second from right) punches the ball away from St Benedict’s College attacker Rueul Tyson (second from left) during SSFL action at Lewis Street, San Fernando on 4 October 2017.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

Last year, Reuel trained with my South Zone team Union Hall United. He lives in Union Hall like myself. I would see him regularly when he was going to school or returning home; and I would give him a drop if I saw him walking. I never passed him straight.

I remember when I picked him up, he would look at me and just smile like he always does and say “waz d scene, Coachman?”

I remember him as the kid who always talked and smiled.

My last coaching stint at St Benedict’s was for a five-year period. During that time, I saw Reuel develop. You saw him play [in the SSFL Premier Division] when he was injured, I saw him when he was on top of his game; but during all of those times, he never stopped smiling.

He is by far one of the most respectful kids I ever dealt with in my whole Coaching career. He was really that disciplined.

Reuel had an outstanding personality. Everybody loved him. He never made anything a problem.

You never heard him; but you always saw that smile.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago forward Reuel Tyson poses at Jefferson College (Missouri, USA), during his short stay there.
He died in a vehicular accident in Missouri on 27 October 2018.

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