Trinidad and Tobago international forward and W Connection FC captain and Naparima College stand-out Shahdon Winchester died in a car accident this morning in Gasparillo.
Winchester, 27, was one of four persons killed in an accident off the Solomon Hochoy Highway in the vicinity of the Union Hall flyover, when their vehicle veered off the road and collided with a light post before bursting into flames.
The other victims of the tragic accident are Djenne Hills-Dyer, Michael Bradshaw and Keaton Nicholas. Another W Connection player, Mickaeel Jem Gordon, was the fifth occupants of the car but was dropped home safely, minutes before the crash. All five had partied at a club in Couva before heading for home.
Gordon took to Facebook this morning to assure friends and family that he was still alive. He was too emotionally distraught to speak to the press.
It is not the first time that the Winchester family has suffered from a road fatality. He was 10 years old when his father died in a vehicular accident.
The younger Winchester would have turned 28 on 8 January 2020. He leaves behind his fiancée Tineille—they were engaged in October 2019—and their three year old daughter, Ada.
A gifted footballer, Winchester represented Trinidad and Tobago at youth and senior international level and made 27 appearances for the senior Soca Warriors with six international goals.
Winchester was just 18 years old when he debuted for the Trinidad and Tobago National Senior Team as a second half substitute, under then head coach Russell Latapy, in a 4-1 win over Antigua and Barbuda at the Marvin Lee Stadium in Macoya.
Physically strong, technically sound and with the ability to play between the midfield and forward lines, Winchester was expected to be the future spearhead for the Trinidad and Tobago team. It did not work out the way everyone hoped on the field—but there were memorable flashes of brilliance.
Winchester scored his first and only senior international hattrick in a 4-3 extra time loss to Haiti under coach Tom Saintfiet at the Ato Boldon Stadium in a 2017 Concacaf Gold Cup Play Off. And, under current coach Dennis Lawrence, he played from the start and was involved in the opening item—an own goal credited to American defender Omar Gonzales—as Trinidad and Tobago stunned USA 2-1 in 2018 World Cup qualifying action on 10 October 2017, again at the Ato Boldon Stadium.
His last international goal was also at the Couva venue, as he came off the bench to score an equaliser against Guyana in an international friendly on 14 November 2017.
Professionally, Winchester only ever appeared for W Connection at local top flight level and will always be linked with the ‘Savonetta Boys’. However, he also represented SJK Seinäjoki and FF Jaro in Finland, Murciélagos in the Mexican second division and Kapaz PFK in Azerbaijan.
His barrel-chested running style and silky touch would have earned him thousands of admirers in every country that he played in.
Editor’s Note: Click HERE to read tributes to Shahdon Winchester from former teammates, coaches and administrators including Renee John-Williams, Sheldon Bateau, Earl Jean, Khaleem Hyland, William Wallace and Julia Baptiste.