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Spence advises: There is life after sports

Spence advises: There is life after sports


Former stalwart football defender Tyrone “Tweety” Spence is sending a stern warning to sportsmen and women, and that is to take good care themselves, as there is a life after sports.{{more}}

Spence, who represented St. Vincent and the Grenadines at Football from 1968 to 1985, is currently undergoing therapy for a movement and co-ordination disorder, which he believes may be as a result of the many knocks he got over the years, to which he paid little attention.

He made this revelation to SEARCHLIGHT last Saturday morning during one of his visits to the clinic of Physiotherapist Denis Byam at Arnos Vale.

Known for his fearless approach to the sport, and one of the best headers of the football in local circles, Spence said: “You cannot plan for injuries, but it is the way you deal with them when they come is what is important.”

He related personal incidents when he thought he should have applied greater judgment.

“One year, I broke my foot, sat out the rest of the season and came back the next year and break the same foot and played on it the following year,” the former Roseans player recalled.

Spence also related an incident in a club match at the Victoria Park, when he received a cut on his head, left for the hospital nearby, but left instructions that he must not be substituted.

He remembered getting five stitches then returning to continue the match.

“In those days, we wanted to play so badly that we did everything for our teams to win,” Spence, who also served as Manager/player in his last representative competition in Grenada in 1985, admitted.

But, on hindsight, Spence is viewing the sport and the preservation of one’s body in a more circumspect way.

Spence is, therefore, calling on the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Football Federation to institute policies to protect players, especially those on the national representative units.

“I think the Federation should make sure that players, after serious injuries, be fully healed before they start playing again,” Spence advised.

His concern is heightened, as according to him, “there is nothing in place for you after playing.”

Spence is of the view that Vincentians on a whole do not cherish enough those who have made sterling contributions to sports.

He, however, relishes the recent recognition bestowed on him. The Challenge Shield of the Under-16 Division of the Coca Cola Secondary Schools Football Competition was named after him.

“I appreciate it and hope that persons would see it fit to do the same to others,” Spence quipped.

Recently, Spence, a retired postal worker, got some monetary assistance from the newly installed Executive of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Football Federation, with its President Venold Coombs, being instrumental in making it a reality.

Byam told SEARCHLIGHT that Spence is coming along nicely and as was the case during his playing days, responding with a strong heart to the strengthening therapy.(RT)