By -: Rae Roberts
No one could tell the boundary between life and death! It is such a fine line, perhaps impossible to recognize in real life. When I visited my friend and former working colleague, the late Trevor Thwaites at the General Hospital, our conversation, along with another friend, was upbeat.
The LION, as he was affectionately called, looked normal and seemed optimistic that his operation on the following day would have solved his health problem of not being able to excrete.
Death didn’t appear on the horizon, and life after the operation was expected; but that was not to be. Just after 5:00 A.M on Saturday, I received a call from another sport fanatic, Nigel “GERMAN” McKie — with the shocking, sad news. Indeed heart-breaking!
I had a working relationship of almost four decades in sports with Trevor, competing in boxing, cricket, football, table tennis and swimming and as a journalist/broadcaster covering sports. He represented the ultimate sports buff.
He is ranked among the most passionate sports personalities of his generation. He represented tons of energy in sport; and he brought real life and commitment to the wonderful world of sport as no one else did.
Trevor might be one of the few who coined words to give reasons why West Indies suffered defeat. The big-man was a zealous fan of the top Caribbean cricketers — forever cheering them on. No one followed Junior Murray’s debut as the first Grenadian test cricketer closer than Trevor Thwaites did. He had to be featured in every sportscast.
Undoubtedly, his greatest passion was cricket; which he learned growing up in the village of Morne Jaloux — also called the Jealous Mountain. He first represented the community team and subsequently impressed national coach Tyrone Harbin to allow him to play for the now defunct Dauntless, which opened the door form him to be selected to the Grenada team.
Trevor was an opening batsman and made his mark on the sport. He and fellow Morne Jaloux resident, Osbert, established the best Grenada opening partnership in the Windward Islands which stood for several years. He also relished the opportunity of playing alongside a former England test cricketer, Roland Butcher, who coached in Grenada and played in the St. George’s League for three months.
Trevor played cricket all his life. A month ago he competed in the St. David Limited Overs tournament.
Boxing was his second love. He considered himself the Mohammed Ali of local boxing. Whenever you encountered Trevor, he would attempt an Ali shuffle with baby jabs to the stomach. His boxing career included a bronze medal in the 1982 Central American and Caribbean Games in Cuba, along with gold, silver and bronze in the OECS tournaments.
As a sports reporter, Trevor didn’t mind covering sports seven days per week. Often times he would be the only journalist covering an event. We worked together on the sports desk for about 20 years and I cannot remember him not showing up to present the sports news. He always began by reading the three headlines — followed by, “I am Trevor Thwaites.”
He was the first person I heard use the term, “Sport-tainment” to highlight the popular “Waggy-T” Football tournament, because of the mixture of football and cultural performances.
Trevor’s generosity was dominant in his life, supporting students and helping as many as he could — and he did so privately!
His dedicated work earned him a personal reward in the late 90s when he was awarded a scholarship to Leeds University in England to pursue studies, earning a Master’s in Journalism.
There was never a dull day in the life of Trevor Thwaites!!!! He loved his daughter, Neisha and talked about her with the greatest love of a dedicated father. She made him proud and he shared with me much about her academic and professional success. On Saturday mornings when I saw him on the beach, he would often say, “I have to take care of Neisha’s dog.”
In summary, I will forever remember Trevor Thwaites as the most passionate sports personality of his generation, and one who loved a good reggae. May he Rest In Peace!