Proud to be Bermudian
Congratulations poured in after footballer Nahki Wells scored a first for Bermuda with a Wembley goal that helped propel Bradford City into England’s League One.
“Well done, Nahki — you make us all proud to be Bermudian,” Premier Craig Cannonier declared. “We’re so very proud of Nahki Wells.”
Mr Cannonier commended the 22-year-old for scoring the third goal in Saturday’s League Two play-off final, which secured his team’s 3-0 victory over Northampton Town.
“Throughout his football career, Nahki has consistently demonstrated his outstanding technical football skills, and his good sportsmanship on and off the field,” Mr Cannonier said.
“From what I understand, there have been many people who have played a role in getting him where he is today. It is now our role to help him get further.”
The Premier added: “As a country, let’s all stand behind and alongside this outstanding young man and encourage him to reach his fullest potential.”
Progressive Labour Party Leader Marc Bean commended the striker for becoming “the first person from our Island to score a goal at historic [New] Wembley Stadium in London”.
Mr Wells “has made history, and cemented himself as a hero to Bermudians of all ages”.
Mr Bean added: “This accomplishment in a high-stakes game at Wembley Stadium is the dream of every young footballer — and he has not only made that dream a reality for himself, but also to the young people he inspires.”
Echoing the congratulations was Shadow Sports Minister Michael Weeks, who said Mr Wells had “done it again”.
The player is “following proudly in the footsteps of Clyde Best, Shaun Goater, Kyle Lightbourne, David Bascome and others who have left Bermuda to show the world just how football should be played”, Mr Weeks said.
It was a special occasion for Bermuda Football Association vice-president Cal Blankendal, who last night attended the prizegiving for Dandy Town’s youth football programme.
Dandy Town is Mr Wells’ childhood football club — and February’s clash at Wembley between Bradford and Swansea City raised more than $1,000 to support the club.
“I feel proud to be part of an organisation that he’s still taking part in, even though he’s not still a player on the books,” Mr Blankendal told
The Royal Gazette.
“In the end, we have a lot of issues that everybody has to deal with. But football brings everyone together — we were all just Bermudians celebrating.”
Mr Wells’ performance had shown the world the Island’s potential, he said.
“More importantly, it encourages our players to see how football is an attractive sport not only to play professionally, but with opportunities like education and friendship, and leading life in a positive manner. Our young people can relate to someone they can physically see and touch — an average guy doing something he loves to do, and being successful.”