Tremaine would have won us a title – Christie
The sudden passing of former Waterhouse FC and Portmore United star Tremaine Stewart has hit the local football community quite hard, yesterday, but none more than Dunbeholden United, who had placed their faith in the player to bring them Premier League glory.
Dunbeholden manager, Andrew Christie, said the short time Stewart was at the club he infected the team and fans with his drive and enthusiasm to win and they were all convinced the former Eltham High School star would lead them to the national title.
"The only thing I can remember is what our coach said to me just before we break (training) about two months ago.
"He said Mr Christie don't worry about anything that is happening, as long as you can keep Tremaine fit and happy, we will win the Premier League," he commented.
Christie said the 33 year old played with renewed life and his passion and enthusiasm infected them all with belief.
"He played with passion and enthusiasm and his attitude was infectious. It's amazing the impact and belief he brought to Dunbeholden.
"Everybody in the community and the team start having the belief. We were playing at a level that we didn't even consider to play at and it's all because of Tremaine," he stated.
Stewart, who played for Aalesunds in Norway and Rovaniemen Palloseura in Finland, started his senior playing career with August Town.
He helped Waterhouse to the 2018 and 2019 Premier League, but they lost both times to his former club Portmore United.
Christie, a former Waterhouse manager, said it was the player who approached him about the move, and he believed returning to his hometown was the source of his new found motivation.
"It was Tremaine who approached me and said he was ready to come back home.
"When he came over, it was like he rediscovered his youthfulness before he went to Norway. The way he was playing our coach went as far as to say he was the best midfielder in the country, so we were expecting good thing with Tremaine," he said.
Meanwhile, Waterhouse coach Marcel Gayle said the Drewsland-based club is still in disbelief and was grieving with their St Catherine counterparts.
"We know that the Dunbeholden club is feeling it very hard right now. This passing of Tremaine Stewart must have hit them hard and we want to wish them a speedy recovery," he said.
"We just have to keep the good memories that Tremaine has left with us and keep it shining," he added.
Stewart's former Portmore United teammate, Javon East, said when he first heard the news he had to take a minute to gather himself.
"I was shocked. I had to pause for a while thinking about what could have happened, as I don't know him to be sick. But I just want to say condolence to his family," he said.
Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) president, Michael Ricketts, said Stewart was a player he admired.
"This is a player that I enjoyed watching. He embodied the beautiful game. It is so heartbreaking," Ricketts said.
Stewart was playing football in his community in Gordon Pen, Spanish Town, when he collapsed moments after entering the field.
He was rushed to the Spanish Town Hospital where he was pronounced dead. He leaves behind a wife and two daughters.