Reggae Girlz captain: Nelson was a special person

September 13, 2021
Jean Nelson
Jean Nelson
Konya Plummer
Konya Plummer
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Reggae Girlz captain Konya Plummer has described late team manager Jean Nelson as a special person with a "beautiful soul".

Nelson, who was involved in local women's football administration for over 30 years and had been the Reggae Girlz's team manager for the last decade, passed away on Saturday after a short illness. "She looked out for me in more ways than I could imagine. So personally, it is hard for me," Plummer said on Sunday.

"The programme is going to miss such a great influence. She had a beautiful soul. She worked very hard and gave everything to the programme and to the girls. She was like a mom away from home. So I don't think it will ever be the same. Ms Nelson's energy will be missed. We all appreciated her and we didn't even get to say that to her.

"But she has left a legacy because she always looks to show love. Condolences to her family and friends," she added

Meanwhile, a Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) release said that Nelson, the first official president of the Jamaica Women's Football Association and a former player, was a stalwart and a giant in support of women's football.

It said that her love for the game and her relentless drive for the organisation and the development of the women's game locally were incomparable.

"She was among of the driving forces who started the first women's football league in 1990," the release said.

"Jean has been the manager of the senior Reggae Girlz for many years, and as fate would have it, she had the distinct pleasure of managing Jamaica's first and only team to the FIFA Women's World Cup in France in 2019.

"The Jamaica Football Federation sends sincere condolences to her family and friends and especially the Reggae Girlz, who have lost a matriarch. May her soul rest in eternal peace," the release added.

Former Reggae Girlz coach Hue Menzies described Nelson as one of the foundations of the local women's game and said her commitment to the development of Jamaica's women's football was second to none.

Menzies said Nelson's influence on players and the programme was massive and he believes that everyone will now have to play their part in trying to fill the void she has left.

"Jean's commitment to women's football was probably next to none. She was thankful to me for being instrumental in helping to get the team to the World Cup. That was a dream of hers, and we are grateful we were able to achieve that goal, and she was a big part of that,' he said.

He noted that at times when the World Cup qualifying campaign wasn't going well, Nelson always had a word of encouragement and was a driving force in the background. She kept the fires burning when things were down. She was always there to be called upon, and she never stopped pursuing, so she was a big part of the success and a big positive influence on all the ladies.

"The programme will really miss her. We are all going to miss her," he said.

livingston.scott@gleanerjm.com.

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