Trinidad and Tobago Guardian freelance photo-journalist Rolph Warner, 57, died from a massive heart attack on Sunday evening while playing football at the Queen’s Park Oval, Port-of-Spain.
The Inter-Col Football Reunion 2011, organised by RAG Sport Marketing to raise funds for renal care patients in Trinidad and Tobago, featured teams from St Mary’s, Fatima, Queen’s Royal College, Presentation (San Fernando), St Benedict’s and Naparima College (San Fernando). Warner was the goalkeeper for QRC in an encounter against St Mary’s.
Spectators were shocked when Warner, who was in high spirits earlier, grabbed his back and fell to the turf unconscious. He kept goal for QRC in an earlier game against Fatima College. Rushing to Warner’s assistance was former St Mary’s Intercol star, Dr Alvin Henderson, Fatima College’s old boy, physiotherapist Ian “Chala” Dore and QRC old boy Randy Harrinauth. Henderson applied CPR for approximately five minutes before an ambulance arrived to take him to St Clair Medical Centre.
When Warner’s sister, Loma, friend Marilyn King, children, family members and friends arrived at the clinic, a distraught Loma said: “He died doing something he loved, surrounded by his friends and family. This morning he did something very unusual, cooking Sunday lunch at home. Last night he also ‘ordered’ us all to wear blue clothing for today’s Inter-col to support QRC. When we told him we had no blue clothes, Rolph went into his wardrobe and provided us with a handful of blue jerseys,” she added.
Warner’s QRC schoolmate, Trinbago Unified Calypsonians Organisation (Tuco) president Lutalo Masimba (Brother Resistance) said yesterday: “Even as a second former, he was the most promising goalkeeper we ever had in college but Rolph suffered with his back. He was a rebellious young boy, always an independent thinker. Rolphie had a passion for embracing the entertainment and cultural agenda, always working hard, making friends with everyone.”
“In our last conversation, he had already begun scheduling interviews for next year’s tenth anniversary of ‘Calypso History Month’, to coincide with the nation’s 50th independence anniversary and the 100th anniversary of the recording industry. That’s the kind of man he was, very serious about T&T’s culture and entertainment. Overall, Rolph was just a good and decent human being.”
At the time of his death Warner was a media consultant to Minister of Arts & Multiculturalism Winston “Gypsy” Peters. His funeral is tentatively set for Friday. -T&T Guardian
***EDITOR’s NOTE: I personally send my condolences to my friend Ruel Warner (nephew of Rolph) and the entire Warner family.