Vendors relish in being pillars of local football
Combined, Delroy Myers, Levi Palmer and Sonia Bloomfield have been selling peanuts around football grounds in Jamaica for the better part of 90 years.
And while they may not make the headlines for shaping Jamaica's football, their contributions were celebrated at Wednesday's Bring Back the Love After Labour charity football event at the Anthony Spaulding Sports Complex as pillars of local football.
For Bloomfield, who has been in the business for a decade, being recognised for her contributions has not only given her a sense of pride but keeps the motivation to continue being the glue that holds the local community together.
"Really when football is going on, I make more money because on the streets sometimes it is not so nice, but football, it is profitable," Bloomfield said. "It is a good business for me. I enjoy selling it, and I enjoy dealing with people because they are nice most of the time. I feel proud of myself for selling for 10 years and getting honoured like this."
Palmer is the elder statesman who, for more than 50 years, has been at most top-flight, lower-tier and schoolboy football games across the country, getting his start as a side business while working as a messenger for the Ministry of Finance. For him, interacting with the fans has been the biggest joy as well as cementing his love with the game.
"I like to support the people, and the people support me because I have been supporting football since 1965. I have travelled all around Jamaica for football matches - Manning Cup, Premier League, Major League - and every league I go to, the people appreciate me and do a lot of things for me," Palmer said.
Myers, who has been selling for 30 years, believes that the award is important for those who are visible but not often appreciated.
"It is very important because we have been in the business for a long time now. So this is just recognition for the people that have been supporting me, and I respect them for that," Myers said.