RENDEZVOUS in KINGSTON NATIONAL STADIUM
I MAN entered the National Stadium through the player gate…as Neville Oxford…the ‘captain’ of the Jamaican Masters team determined who would enter…he looked at I MAN askedly, like…who are you…though he probably knew my face from the Masters League competition…I MAN just say, “ whap’n Erks…his ancient football name that goes back to his days at KC…and just pushed by…giving myself access to the MacDonald Tunnel and a direct route to the Royal box.
After getting past the technical difficulties…I walked down the MacDonald Tunnel as crowd of people moved between the changing rooms and the end of the tunnel. At the foot of the MacDonald Tunnel I looked up into the Royal Box and there sat the KING, his attorney at law, the Brazilian ambassador, JFF president Horace Burrell and other dignitaires…as I looked up…Pele’s attorney signaled that I come up to the box and allow him to fulfill his promise…
At the top of the line that led to the Royal Box was one of Jamaica’s pioneers in club soccer overseas. Doc McKenzie too had come to pay homage to the ‘great man’ holding ‘his famous photo’ taken while playing against PELE in North America. Doc McKenzie is one of the early Jamaican pioneers in US college soccer (Oneonta College) and one of the first modern player (1970s) to play in Europe…when Doc was complete with his re-acquaintance with the King, Pele’s lawyer signaled for space to be made to allow IMAN to come up and be first introduced to the Brazilian ambassador and to be officially re-united with the KING…..…allowing IMAN to show the King InI team shot and training pics…which he readily offered to sign…the photos racked the King’s mind…as he stared into deep space…recalling his days with the New York COSMOS..
I could see him making the reconnection through time and space…After deep reflection, the KING offered to autography our training picture. See below. This was just absolutely unplanned and mind blowing.