Rawle Fletcher was a soldier through and through who, as reports put it, concerned with public safety, once disarmed some men and turned the firearm into the police.
It may have been that same good deed that saw the lance corporal shot to death along with two other people during an all-fours match in Preysal on Sunday, as gunmen opened fire on the crowd, and then on Fletcher himself.
The Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force defender was yesterday remembered by Army assistant coach Marvin Gordon as “a good person on the whole” and a “soldier first”.
Fletcher began his “Army” career in 2008 as he joined their Defence Force football team, and celebrated with them as a member of the 2010-2011 Pro League winning team that ended a 12-year drought of League titles.
Yesterday the mood was understandably sombre as Defence Force trained, before praying for Fletcher’s family.
“It was one of trying to get them just to enjoy themselves,” Gordon explained, “because everybody would be taking on Fletcher, so it was just a small warm-up and some small-sided games, trying to get them in the mood.
“Then we talked a little bit. But it’s on everybody’s mind. Not just the football team, but the whole Defence Force mourning because he was a known figure through the football and through his personality.”
Fletcher did not play the current 2013-2014 season, according to Gordon, because he was awaiting surgery on his hand, and because of other personal business. Still, his passing has hit the team hard.
“As a coach and the team it touch real hard because Fletcher was one with us. Is only this year when really (he) wasn’t with the team. It really hit us hard and it really hard to come to terms with it. He really was a good person.”
Gordon added: “He was one of those guys that was a great motivator. He used to motivate the team to do better. He has been around. He represented W Connection and San Juan Jabloteh before he come to the Army. One of the most steady defenders we had in the team. He was a great asset with the team.”
Connection head coach Stuart Charles-Fevrier remembered the player as a “fun, outgoing” person while at the Couva-based club.
Said Fevrier: “Rawle was always hard working and committed. After spending the first two seasons with us, he decided he wanted to join the Army and we supported the decision.
“He has represented the Army at Pro League level and he has been present in their squad ever since. We all were very saddened by the news of his passing. On behalf of the club we’d like to send condolences to his family.”
Pro League CEO Dexter Skeene told the Express that Fletcher displayed the same commitment expected of Army players, and offered condolences to his family as well.
“We consider it a great loss to the TT Pro League,” Skeene stated. “It’s a sad day for football. We hope that football is something that can build and develop young people and it shows all the more the importance of football and professional football in particular toward contributing to the lives of the young people of Trinidad and Tobago.
“We are saddened, and we are looking at what we can do in remembrance, and to pay tribute to him for his service.”