Spirit of Akeem Adams with Point Fortin

Akeem Adams (image source www.fradi.hu)

Gone but not forgotten the saying goes. But for deceased former Trinidad and Tobago footballer Akeem Adams it’s more than just fond memory.

There seems to be more of a supernatural presence of Akeem at Point Fortin Civic, the club he was once set to represent before earning himself a move to Hungary with top flight club Ferencvárosi TC last August.

Akeem, a two-time former Trinidad and Tobago Youth World Cup defender and Senior Team player, hit the ground running at Ferencvárosi as a permanent fixture in then head coach Ricardo Moniz side, and an early favourite to the “Fradi” supporters.

But tragedy struck on September 25 at the apartment of the 22-year-old Akeem when he suffered a massive heart attack.

After three months fighting for his life, inclusive of four life-saving operations—one of which his left leg was amputated—later, the Point Fortin-born defender suffered a stroke at the Városmajori Heart Clinic in Budapest and fell into a coma on December 28. Two days later Akeem’s body, which had been on the support of a mechanical heart, gave up naturally.

Prior to his passing, the team of doctors, headed by Professor Merkely Bela, at Városmajori were hoping that Akeem would have survived long enough for a heart transplant.

Akeem, however, was only able to stay alive long enough to spend Christmas with his mother Ancilla Dick-Adams and brother Akini Adams, although limited to a bed in ICU at the Városmajori Heart Clinic.

Three days after his passing, Point Fortin Civic, who had started the season with a promising three-match winning streak, conceded its fifth consecutive defeat in the 2013/2014 Digicel Pro League at the hands of Caledonia, 2-1 at the Hasely Crawford Stadium.

But as Ancilla and Akini were sorting out travel arrangements for Akeem’s body to be flown to Trinidad from Hungary, it seems that his spirit returned home earlier.

Point Fortin Civic went on to snap the five-match losing streak with a goalless draw against North East Stars and was defensively sound in the four matches that followed.

Civic stormed to a 5-0 win over Police FC on Saturday 18 January, at the Mahaica Oval—the venue of Akeem’s funeral service the day before—and followed up with a 3-0 win over Rangers, a 0-0 draw against Central FC, and most recently snapped a twelve-match unbeaten streak boasted by league leaders DIRECTV W Connection last Saturday, with a 2-1 win at the home.
Point Fortin Civic players in celebration
(His death) touched all of us deeply,” said Civic head coach Reynold Carrington this week.

“I think the players really responded in honour of Akeem,” added Carrington, a former T&T captain and product of Point Fortin just as Akeem.

“Akeem coming from humble beginnings had a significant part in our players re-identifying themselves. Akeem and I had good relationship and his passing also helped me in re-identifying myself as well the ambition of the club.

“He was one of the players training with us, before the season kicked off and before he joined (Ferencvárosi).

“All the players know the love and admiration that Akeem had for the game and life in general.”

Civic, now on a five-match undefeated run, are second on the league table with 20 points, 12 points away from Connection (32 points).

“All the while I’ve been saying to the players we needed to change, in the sense that we shouldn’t just settle for chasing second spot.

“The only way we could have started the turn around, and reduce the 15-point deficit, was by defeating (W Connection) on Saturday. And I think the players worked hard for it.”

Carrington’s 18-man squad on against Connection included January signings, 32-year-old journeyed Sean Cooper, 21-year-old Tobago-born defender Omarr Charles and the Civic head coach’s very own stepson, 25-year-old Kariym Balthazar. Balthazar started, while Copper was used off the bench and scored the winner following Andre Toussaint’s equalizing penalty.

Meanwhile Akini, the 26-year-old Civic goalkeeper, has returned to training. Carrington explained that Akini (who trained at Ferencvárosi during his time in Hungary to be at his brother’s side) has been through a lot and is now working on regaining his fitness.

Civic are at home again on Saturday 8 February from 3.30 pm when they against eight positioned San Juan Jabloteh, who defeated them 3-1 in Round One.

“No two games are the same,” Carrington said. “Definitely we need to be humble and not let last weekend’s win overwhelm us. We should take the positives of the game but not take with us the fact that we defeated Connection 2-1.

“Jabloteh have a rich history like us and we would need to take our A-game to them for a win.”

On Friday 7 February, the Hasely Crawford Stadium will kick off the Round Two Match Day Six with a double header featuring Caledonia AIA against St. Ann’s Rangers from 6 pm and Central FC against North East Stars from 8 pm.

Digicel Pro League 2013/2014
Round Two Match Day Six
Hasely Crawford Stadium
Caledonia AIA vs St. Ann’s Rangers—6 pm
Central FC vs North East Stars—8 pm

Mahaica Oval, Point Fortin
Point Fortin Civic vs San Juan Jabloteh—3.30 pm