By Neto Baptiste
Former national, Combined Islands and Leeward Islands cricketer, Hugh Gore, is calling on the Antigua and Barbuda Football Association (ABFA), the Antigua and Barbuda Cricket Association (ABCA) and the government to honour the legacy of former national athlete Wesley Challenger, who died almost two weeks ago.
Gore, a close friend of Challenger since childhood, believes that the former national goalkeeper who also played cricket and basketball has left a rich legacy that should be honoured and celebrated by all.
“He’s left a strong legacy and I would like to think that something is done about having whether a scholarship or whether something in his name at the football grounds when it is finished because when I look at the football ground up there, I think more could have been done. When you look at Anguilla and St Kitts and Montserrat, you see more progress but I just think whether it’s a stand, a scholarship given in his name, especially to goalkeepers, that not only the football fraternity but government or whatever associations in the country, will see it fit to honour him in a most noble way,” he said.
Gore, who was speaking on the Good Morning Jojo Sports show at the time, remembered the first time he met Challenger and how the friendship blossomed from there.
“I would have met Wesley later in life because I went to Barbados when I was nine years old but one of my first recollections of Wesley was when I’d come back here for holiday one time, and on Factory Road … I was walking up there and I stopped to look through the fence to [watch] football and I can’t really remember who it was against but I saw this person make a save and it was like they were going to the left and came back to the right then to find out it was Wesley. He was a super athlete and a super person,” he said.
A former national and Leeward Islands team manager, Gore said Challenger had a love for cricket and would travel the region to attend matches, and was always willing to give advice and lend a helping hand.
“In our latter lives, down the road, we used to travel together a lot to watch cricket and Wesley was a very knowledgeable person when it came to all sports and cricket. I don’t know how many people know but he was one of the longest serving selectors for the Antigua cricket association and nobody watched more than Wesley. He always had good advice to give youngsters and even if you were an opponent they would tell you that. In football or whatever it was, Wesley always had time for the youths, time to give somebody advice and he was a very knowledgeable person; a good heart,” Gore said.
Challenger was also known for his prowess as a 100 meters sprinter while he also played competitive table tennis.
He was laid to rest in a private ceremony on March 29th.