Anna-Lisa Paul and Bobie-Lee Dixon
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Farewell for Akeem today
Three weeks after his untimely passing, former T&T football defender Akeem Adams will be laid to rest today following a public viewing of his body, in his hometown Point Fortin, at Mahaica Oval, from 11.30 am.
Adams, whose body was flown in on Tuesday on the same flight as his mother Ancilla Dick-Adams and his brother Akini Adams, died on December 30 at the age of 22.
His death followed a series of complications which stemmed from a massive heart attack he suffered in his apartment in Budapest, Hungary, last September.
Today’s funeral is expected to attract hundreds of family members, friends, well wishers and affiliates of the football community.
Adams, regarded by former national coach Otto Pfister as this country’s best left-back, played for several local Pro League clubs, including W Connection and Central FC, before making a move abroad to Hungarian club Ferencvaros TC, where he made a name after just a handful of appearances.
Only two weeks after he suffered a heart attack, Adams’ left leg was amputated in a procedure described by doctors as a “life saving surgery”. He was subsequently given an artificial heart, but Adams never built enough strength to undergo a heart transplant, which was eventually scheduled for February 4. Adams then fell into a coma on December 28, two days before he died at the Varosmajori Heart Clinic, in Budapest.
Adams represented T&T at the Under-17 and Under-20 levels, and played in respective youth Fifa World Cups.
Despite only playing six matches for Ferencvaros (five of which resulted in wins), Adams was well received by fans, teammates and administrators.
Two days ago, Dr Sandor Csanyi, president of the Hungary Football Association, in a letter of condolence to the T&T Football Association described Adams as “a distinguished personality”.
“The memories of his exemplary life and football achievement will be treasured and long remembered by the Hungarian Football Community,” said Dr Csanyi.
The TTFA, through president Raymond Tim Kee replied in gratitude for the hospitality and assistance given to Adams after his heart attack.
On Hungarian Web site, hungarianfootball.com, an author signed as “Gabyg”, said despite Ferencvaros’ notorious off-field difficulties, Adams’ condition managed to blossom a side of supporters which was rarely seen. He said Akeem’s condition managed to bring rival clubs together.
Adams, however, won the hearts of fans even before his heart attack.
“As odd as that may seem, it really is remarkable that a young man from Trinidad, under the shadow of racism in Hungarian football, won the fans over,” the author wrote.
“Fans lit candles, made banners and flocked in the hundreds to give blood donations. His death has shocked all those associated with Hungarian football. The words I am writing are some of the hardest I have had to write and I don't think I could ever fully make those reading this understand what a loss he is to us.”
Adams, a former student and standout defender of Presentation College San Fernando, had his playing number, four, retired by the school.