Mar 02, 2021 Sports
Kaieteur News – The sports fraternity in Guyana and the wider world has been plunged into mourning with the sudden demise of former National Football Neil “Grizzly” Humphrey. He was 65, having celebrated his birthday last month.
Humphrey or “Grizzly” has he was popularly known, died on Sunday Morning at the New Amsterdam Hospital. Reports are that he was up and around up to Saturday and even spoke to a few persons on Saturday evening. He failed to get up on Sunday morning and when family members checked on him he was unwell. He was rushed to the New Amsterdam Hospital where he died.
Neil was a part of the popular Humphrey family in New Amsterdam that is well known for their sporting exploits. He started his career at a tender age and was in the national mix from since his teenage years before graduating to the senior national team in the 70s alongside his brother Keith and a number of other prominent players from Berbice.
Grizzly was a prominent player and personality for Cougars, and also played for teams such as Caribs, Bermine, Hearts of Oak and Hearts of Oak Masters.
A part from being a competent all-round footballer, Grizzly was a live wire and known as Mr. Football.
Close friend and fellow former national player Kenrick Bowry is sadden by the sudden demise of his longtime pal Neil. He noted that that Neil was a total football package. He was also a fully qualified coach, and referee.
There was hardly a football match or competition that was played and “Grizzly” was not involved in, organising, training, coordinating, referring, coaching, announcing. He would return to coordinate the presentation and prize giving ceremony, write up the result and distribute it to the media. He was a total package. According to Bowry, his boots would be hard to fill.
In his later years he was more prominent in youth activities, especially football and grass root football.
Humphrey was a livewire along with his siblings organising, the once popular Hilbert “Old Beef” Humphrey sports activities which was played in memory of his father.
He was the president of the Hearts of Oak Masters Football Club and has been organising the popular Teach Them Young football Camp for more than two decades. He was also the local contact for the Overseas Disturbance Football Club which is made up of mostly former residents New Amsterdam that resides overseas.
Neil was a part of the family Butchery business which is arguably one of the oldest and most prominent in the town. He also worked with the New Amsterdam Prison.
According to his sister Joan, he was the third of eight siblings and apart from football played many sports. He was part of a family that were all prominent sports personalities that represented in football, cricket, track and field athletics, lawn tennis, basketball, volleyball, rugby among other games.
Neil was a father of nine and leaves to mourn his elderly mother, Hermina Humphrey and a wide gathering of family, friends, colleagues and associates.
Kaieteur Sports join with the rest of nation in expressing deepest sympathy to the family and friends of the later former footfall stalwart Neil Grizzly Humphrey. (Samuel Whyte)
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