How Porky got me started in coaching
Anthony “Porky” Manders embodied the outstanding all-round qualities that Western Stars Sports Club are striving to instil in their athletes.
That’s the legacy club president Devarr Boyles says Manders, who passed away on Thursday at age 59, leaves behind as a shining light for others to follow.
Throughout an illustrious career spanning decades, Manders thrived as a wicketkeeper-batsman for Stars and goalkeeper for Dandy Town. He also represented Bermuda in both sports and Somerset in Cup Match.
Manders also left his mark in the Civil Service as a skilled Financial Secretary and Assistant Accountant-General.
“Indirectly, through government, Anthony Manders paid everybody on Government’s payroll,” Boyles said. “That was his day-to-day job, basically. That speaks to where sport has taken someone from an amateur club.
“A lot of clubs have these stories. But that’s just our story that I’m speaking directly to, so he’s held in high esteem as a sportsman who is actually an upstanding citizen —and that’s what we’re striving towards.
“We want to be the club of choice in Pembroke, period. But, more importantly, we want people to be ... I won’t say role models ... but just good people in the community, no matter what job that they take.
“His [Manders] job just has a little bit more prestige around it, so he’s a shining light for a lot of people like Gershon [former Stars all-rounder and Town defender Gershon Gibbons] who has walked in his particular steps.
“Anthony was a role model to him, directly and indirectly both for football and cricket, and then was his boss at the Accountant-General’s office, so that just kind of speaks to that. Both of them are accountants, so there’s a lot of little connections and he’s a part of the fabric of Western Stars, Dandy Town.”
Gibbons described Manders as a mentor whom he had the pleasure of working alongside of up until the time of his death.
“He [Manders] helped me to get my job and I know him from being out Western Stars,” Gibbons said. “Growing up out there, he was like a mentor.
“He also helped mentor me here at the Accountant-General’s Office into the business world and was still actively involved in sports because we both worked together as coaches in the youth programme at Western Stars.
“We were driving the youth programme out there coaching the under-8s, under-11s and under-14s, so we were working together both professionally and in a sporting context.”
Manders also inspired his sons Jekon, Jaiden and Jamori, who have all walked in their father’s footsteps, having represented Stars and Town in cricket and football.
Jekon, who played wicketkeeper like his father, captained Somerset in Cup Match and also represented Bermuda before retiring.
The multitalented Manders also had a big influence on former Town and Bermuda midfielder Boyles’s transition to coaching.
“Mark Trott, when he was coach at Dandy Town, travelled every Christmas with his family and this one Christmas he left the team with Anthony Manders and myself,” Boyles explained.
“Anthony Manders told me, ‘I‘ll do this part, you do all the coaching’. That’s what really got me started on coaching, so that’s like huge for me.”
Trott, who was team-mates with Manders on Bermuda’s cricket team that won the 1979 International Youth Tournament in Toronto, added: “Devarr had shown an interest in coaching and Porky was the most senior person, so with their experience and rapport with the players, I just thought that would be the best combination.
“What I loved about Porky was you could ask him to do anything.
“He always put the team first. When I first came out St John’s Field and started coaching, he was still playing in goal and helping to develop and mentor the young goalkeepers coming through.”