101-year-old man gives FC International camp a boost

101-year-old Wellesley Howell recently paid an inspirational visit to the young players at the Cayman Islands FC International West Bay football camp. - Photo: Jewel Levy

Wellesley Howell never played football in his life, but the 101-year-old shoemaker recently scored a huge goal with a group of young players at the Ed Bush playing field.

The players were attending the Cayman Islands FC International West Bay football camp on Oct. 29, which, according to the organization’s president, Kennedy Ebanks, encourages young footballers everywhere to take part, stay active and to engage in positive pursuits.

“That’s it, just give it a little kick,” the children said, with coaches gathered around, as Mr. Howell kept a firm hold of former MLA Ellio Solomon and kicked the ball, relaying to the kids that living a century has taught him a thing or two.

“Look up and lift up your brain, you might not realize the significance of it now, but later on in life you will,” said Mr. Howell. He said he was quoting from a poem his teacher told to him in school a long time ago and he had lived by it.

He grew up in Chesterfield, St. Mary in Jamaica with his father Nehemiah Howell, a farmer, and his mother Agatha. He made Cayman his home after falling in love with the place on his first trip in 1958. He never left. Today, he says, Cayman is far different from when he arrived, but in his heart it remains the same as when he first saw it.

Mr. Howell still shows up to work some days, and still has a very sharp mind, good hearing, needs no glasses to read a book, and says he rarely has a sick day.

“You are a shining example of showing we can live a very long and good life,” Mr. Solomon told Mr. Howell.

He also praised FC International for the job they are doing with young people.

“Kennedy and the group have been doing an awesome job with the young people at the football camp for many years, and it’s a very positive program for the young people,” he said.

SOL Petroleum Cayman Islands Ltd. Esso Station has been a sponsor of the football camp for many years.

“We are happy to assist FC International with the football camp. It’s a positive thing they are doing for the young people and we will continue to support them,” said Sol sales and marketing manager Rosalind Robinson.