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Elton John: ‘Nelly’ was unique in every way; this isn’t the ending I was expecting

“People always asked me why ‘Nelly’ gets on like this; and I would always say try growing up with everyone against you, when you’re always in defensive mode… He was the strongest person I knew. I would try to pattern myself after his style of play but it was like no other and too difficult to copy…”

The following Letter to the Editor on the late former Central FC and San Juan Jabloteh star attacker Jason ‘Nelly’ Marcano was submitted to Wired868 by his brother and former teammate Elton John, who now plays professionally in Canada with Halifax-based club, HFX Wanderers:

Photo: Central FC players (from left) Willis Plaza, Jason Marcano and Elton John celebrate after securing the 2015 Digicel Pro Bowl crown with a 4-1 win over Caledonia AIA at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Port of Spain.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

We all know about his ability to play football and his soft voice but no-one understand his personality and his story. In his voice, you could hear his passion and someone crying out to achieve greatness and love from the people around him. All he ever wanted was love in return for all that he gave.

His story runs way deeper than anyone could imagine. This is a guy who grew up in an environment where I have seen so many of our friends and family just give up their belief and stop fighting to achieve.

But despite all the negativity, he stood strong. People always asked me why ‘Nelly’ gets on like this; and I would always say try growing up with everyone against you, when you’re always in defensive mode.

‘Smithy’ would fight for anything, even for two marbles out of the hundreds he use to have in a two litre bottle when we would play marbles under the house as kids. For someone to go to war for two marbles, it tells you a lot about their character.

He was the strongest person I knew. I would try to pattern myself after his style of play but it was like no other and too difficult to copy. He believed he could achieve anything despite his challenges and he did that.

Photo: Central FC forward Jason Marcano (right) celebrates his late penalty against Defence Force during Pro League action at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva on 24 January 2017.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

We shared everything, even dreams to make it out of Trinidad and play at the highest level. I don’t think there is another person I know who loved a football like ‘Smithy’. We played on every single team together and now he’s gone. He was different and unique in every way. There is no replacement for him.

I’ve cried the entire day and tried going back to sleep, hoping to wake up knowing it was a dream. But it’s real and I don’t know how to deal with it.

My greatest worry is if he was happy before he died… 😭😭

I love you bro. You will forever be in my heart and on the pitch with me, I promise. 🙏🏾

We  always use to sit and talk about our struggles growing up and how far we have come. And he would say when you have the hardest time growing up and stay positive, there is a happy ending for us.

This isn’t the ending I was expecting because he never strayed to the wrong side. But God has his plans. So rest in peace bro.

Editor’s Note: Click HERE to read a tribute to the late Jason ‘Nelly’ Marcano from the football men who knew him best.

Photo: Central FC attacker Jason Marcano (centre) goes for goal during 2016/17 Pro League action against W Connection at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain on 4 October 2016.
Looking on are Connection players Briel Thomas (left) and Maurice Ford.
(Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)

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Letters to the Editor
Want to share your thoughts with Wired868? Email us at editor@wired868.com. Please keep your blog between 300 to 800 words and be sure to read it over first for typos and punctuation.

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