Dec 08, 2021 Sports
Coach Arthur & Ex Nat F/baller Niles remembers their mentor
By Sean Devers
Kaieteur News – Guyana’s cricket and football fraternities were plunged into mourning following the death of George Arlington Green, who died last Saturday. He was 84.
Claude Raphael, the GCB’s PRO and former Malteenoes President, remembers his fallen team mate as very decent and humble person.
“I remember when I joined Malteenoes in 1956 and meeting George for the first time. I was playing in the Second Division team and made a few runs and George saw me and played big role in me playing at first division level. Players like Glendon Gibbs, ‘Ball oil’ Glasgow, Rex Collymore and Patrick Legall were also in that team.
He was a short man who played as a batsman who bowled ‘right-arm optimistics’ and I am the only person alive in Guyana who played with him back then.
George was a wonderful person and more than decent batsman who Captained Malteenoes and was good enough to play for Demerara,” the former Malteenoes President explained.
Green represented Malteenoes at the Case Cup level from 1953 to 1971 and also captained the club, before representing Demerara at the Inter-county level in 1956 and was an excellent table tennis player.
“However, George was Muliti talented and also played table Tennis but it was in Football that he made the biggest impact playing for Guyana,” Raphael continued.
“In those days they had West Indies teams in cricket, cycling, Lawn Tennis and Football and George was one of four Guyanese selected for the West Indies Football team.
I did not know he died until I saw your message. I extend, on behalf of Malteenoes, my condolences to his friends and family.
Not many of the generation under50 would know of what he achieved but I can say the cricket and football fraternity will miss a good and honest man,” Raphael, a former National selector, concluded.
Another Malteenoes ‘old timer’ Edward Richmond, remembers when George was working at GNTC and he was the cleanest footballer he had even seen.
“He was a diminutive Footballer, who was dapper and skilful. He was older than I was but I remember him playing cricket at Malteenoes.
But what I remember most about him was how clean his clothes were even after he had played an entire football match.
His shirt was always tucked in his shorts, both of his socks were always the same level, his hair was well combed and his posture was always immaculate,” added Richmond, a former Physical Trainer of the Malteenoes U-19 and first division teams.
“George lived full lives and had many achievements. Condolences to those he has left behind. RIP George,” said Richmond.
Lennox Arthur, who represented Guyana at U-17, 19, 23 and Senior Football, played under Green from 1969-1973 and was Assistant to Coach Green from 1975-1978 and he had fond memories of Green dating back to the 1960s when he first saw him play.
In 1969 and 1970 Arthur was coached by Green and Reds Perriera and described Green as humble, honest, decent and a very good player and Coach. He was also Coach in Arthur’s last game for Guyana in 1973 against Haiti and according to Arthur, Green was very firm with fittness and discipline.
Because of a knee injury, Green stopped playing in 1966 and was appointed as the coach of the Senior team. He was coach from 1966 to 1980. In 1976, the GFA sent him to East Germany on a three-month coaching scholarship.
“He was also the first National Football coach to coach a World Cup squad; in 1976 when Guyana participated in a qualifier against Suriname. Guyana won that game two-nil at home and I was assistant to him.
I took over as Coach for the return when he was unavailable due to his departure for East Germany,” said Lennox who turns 70 on Friday and informed that Green was his mentor.
Former National Footballer Keith ‘Wiler’ Niles, is Green’s sister son, whom he called his father, and he introduced him to cricket and football as eight-year-old.
“My Uncle would take me to Malteenoes to see him play cricket and as a little boy I would go to the football grounds so when I started playing I was already accustomed to being among National players,” said Niles, who along with his Father and Grand Father are only three generations of Niles to play football for Guyana.
Niles, who grew up in Tiger Bay, remembers his uncle would carry him on a Bicycle to Malteenoes, a club he represented later in his life.
“My uncle started playing soft shoe football at Parade ground for a team called ‘Juice’ when he was working with Wieting & Richter,” said Niles who started his career at YMCA, now Pele FC.
“George Green is a special person who has helped a lot of people. He captained both the Guyana and West Indies team and he should be honored by GFF,” Niles said from the USA.
Green played Football for the then British Guiana with distinction from 1958 to 1966 without missing a match, captaining the team during that period.
Green started his outstanding football career in 1957. He played senior football for Victoria FC at right half, now called midfield.
He played for Victoria from 1957 to 1961 and was captain from 1957 to 1961. In those days Victoria was one of the better football clubs in the Country.
While playing for Victoria, he was selected to represent the then British Guiana in 1958 against Suriname. He was also a member of the Continental Football Club which played in the Soft Shoe League.
In 1959, he was selected to tour England with the first West Indies Football Team and at the age of 21 years he was the youngest player of that Elite Team.
In 1961 he left Victoria Football Club and played for Sandbach Parker Football Club where he was employed.
In 1962, he was elected as captain of the team which consisted of several National Players. Under his captaincy, they won all the senior trophies that year.
He also coached two Caribbean teams against Hull City Football Club of England and Kwang Tong Province of China. These games were played in Guyana.
In 1992 he employed at the Department of Youth & Sports until his resignation in 2005 he was the co-ordinator for the Annual National Coca Cola Secondary Schools U-19 football competition, He was also co-ordinator of the Inter Guiana Games.
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