‘Just dead, gone and forgotten’
Family aggrieved at waning memory of Shorty Malcolm
Western Bureau: TWENTY-TWO YEARS after the tragic passing of Steve ‘Shorty’ Malcolm, the family believes that not enough is being done to honour the iconic midfielder, who was a key part of Jamaica’s team to the first and only World Cup in France,...
TWENTY-TWO YEARS after the tragic passing of Steve ‘Shorty’ Malcolm, the family believes that not enough is being done to honour the iconic midfielder, who was a key part of Jamaica’s team to the first and only World Cup in France, 1998.
Yesterday marked the anniversary of Malcolm’s death. The diminutive defender died from injuries suffered in a car accident along the Spring Hill main road in Trelawny when he, teammate, Theodore Whitmore and a friend, Charles Ewan, were on their way back from a friendly international against Bulgaria at the National Stadium.
“I don’t like how JFF [Jamaica Football Federation] deal with the thing. Captain and all of them because even that number-two jersey that them a give other man to play in should hang up – retired. Shortman dead a come off the work and how them deal with it not good enough. Them no honour the man for what he did … He believed and brought the team to the World Cup. He is always in our hearts,” said Malcolm’s brother, Gareth Malcolm.
“When we see how much was made of Luton Shelton, we are not saying he should get all the honour he did. We are just showing how things were not right for Shortman, who died coming off the work,” he added.
FORGOTTEN HORROR STORY
His nephew, Roxroy Davis, who said Malcolm played an influential role in his upbringing, believes the legacy of Shorty has become a forgotten horror story.
He also suggested ways the football fraternity could look to honour the little midfielder, who sacrificed that specialty to play right back for the national team.
“You not even see [on] Shorty Malcolm birthday, the team come out in a number-two shirt, or even an exhibition match in his honour. It’s like the man just dead, gone and forgotten. A just the family carry on the love and memory of Shortman. We know he would have reached far in football because the quality of the man,” Davis said.
When asked about the relationship between the family and former Reggae Boyz coach, Whitmore, Gareth got very upset and told the Sunday Gleaner team:
“Don’t call Tappa name. Not even ask mi anything bout dem man deh, Jah know. Well at least he bought tiles for his grave and thing, so I won’t be ungrateful and talk bias.”
Gareth noted that it wasn’s just the JFF that had failed Malcolm’s memory, saying the St James Football Association hadn’t done enough to honour the legacy of the iconic footballer.
“Not even in the parish down here you don’t see them do anything for Shortman. Years ago they put on a little benefit match at Jarrett Park that didn’t work out. Right now the Lucea people at Rusea’s where he went to school appreciate him more. At least every year a man down there usually put on a ‘Shorty Malcolm Corner League’ at December time,” Gareth said.
According to Gareth, the passing of Malcolm, who was the breadwinner of the family, hit hard and to this day has lasting effects.
“It affected us wicked, because you know he was the breadwinner. Not saying people didn’t do a little thing, like JFF, but only for a year or so with the trust fund for the two youths. After that it’s just pure promises and nothing really came through. It’s like they just gave us something to hold us,” Gareth said.
Davis bemoaned the lack of attention shown to Shorty Malcolm’s mother, who passed away after losing her sight.
“All these years Mama deh here and nobody not even show interest until she pass off now. He was the breadwinner for the family and they didn’t do anything after the funeral. They promised Mama things and nothing. Not even mama funeral we don’t see anybody come.”