IF every young person involved in criminal activity would put away the guns and drugs and follow the example of footballer Akeem Adams, the country would be a much better place today.
This was the message given yesterday by David Mohammed, manager of the Trinidad and Tobago football team, who described Adams as an exemplary footballer who accomplished much during his short life.
The funeral of the national footballer took place at Mahaica Oval, Point Fortin.
Adams, 22, died on December 30 in Hungary, where he was playing club football. He had suffered a heart attack on September 25 that required life-saving operations, resulting in the loss of his left leg.
On December 28, he suffered a brain haemorrhage and died while on life support.
His body was flown to Trinidad earlier this week from Hungary. where he played with FC Ferencvaros.
The club sent their flag to be draped on Adams’ casket and it was displayed along with the national flag.
Adams was described as an ambassador of T&T and a warrior by the many who paid tribute. Amongst them was Mohammed.
The T&T team manager told mourners they could learn a lesson from Adams’ death, that no matter where they came from, they could be great, just like Adams, who made his debut on the national team at age 16, in 2008.
Mohammed said every day, young people were killing each other because they had no more hope and Adams’ life should give hope to someone.
“In spite of the fact that we have lost Akeem Adams, we could hold up his life story to tell all of us that every single one of these youth out there have ability, have talent, have greatness in them. They have the potential, the capacity to continue to strive and struggle and be productive and progressive and sacrifice in hard work and dedication and committed to be what Akeem Adams was,” said Mohammed.
Member of Parliament for La Brea Fitzgerald Jeffrey echoed Mohammed’s words.
“Let us try and stop the killing in our country and let us love like Akeem loved,” he said.
Adams’ three-hour funeral was filled with songs and tributes from his schools and the clubs he associated with.
Everyone who spoke about him described Adams as a smiling, jovial, hard-working person who loved football and dedicated his life to it.
Presentations were made to his brother Akini Adams.
Amongst them was a football jersey from Presentation College,San Fernando.
While at the school, Adams’ team number was four. However, the jersey was placed in the casket and that number will not be used again by the school’s football team.
Brent Sancho, managing director of Central Football Club, also presented Akini Adams with a national jersey with his brother’s number on it.
Adams’ national team number was 24.
His mother, Ancilla Dick-Adams, gave the eulogy and spoke about the last three months she spent with her son in Budapest, Hungary.
She said she was happy to see Adams fulfill his dream of playing football professionally.
Dick-Adams told parents to instill discipline and respect in their children, as she did.
Her greatest joy, however, was that before Adams died, he was getting serious about God and had planned to be baptised when he returned home.
She said she was happy because Adams was going to a better place.
Adams had begun preparing a speech to make when he returned home, his mother said.
Dick-Adams said her son had thanked God for keeping him alive and everyone who had been praying and supporting him during his time at the European hospital.
Master of ceremonies for the funeral service, Ivan Dick, called on authorities to complete Mahaica Oval so that the skills and talent of Point Fortin residents could be enhanced.
Director of Sport Dave Bobb gave his promise that he will try to complete the works in the shortest possible time.
No Government Minister attended the funeral.
The burial took place at Point Fortin public cemetery.