Footballer Russell killed in Paget crash
Bermuda footballer Tokia Russell, 38, has lost his life in the sixth fatal accident on the island's roads this year.
While long associated with PHC, Mr Russell played for a host of teams, notably the national squad, Dandy Town and the Bermuda Hogges.
Most recently he took to the pitch in the Corona League for Butterfield & Vallis.
A lifelong resident of Cedar Hill in Warwick, Mr Russell was described by Bermuda assistant coach Kyle Lightbourne as an exceptional talent.
“Normally people have certain strengths, but Tokia seemed to have it all and he never used to brag about what he could do; he just used to perform. He was a happy-go-lucky guy; he always wanted to do well in sports. It's going to be a very sad miss. My condolences go out to all the family — I know them all, and they are a family known for sports in Bermuda. His brother Antwan plays for me on the team at Robin Hood. It's very hard. We will celebrate the life that he had.”
Speaking in a personal capacity, Mark Wade of the Bermuda Football Association said he struggled to gather his thoughts after the tragic news.
“My thoughts and prayers go out to the entire Russell family,” he said.
“I had the honour of coaching Tokia, who formed a very solid partnership with Robert Richardson at the heart of our defence during my first stint coaching the first team.
“While he could play virtually anywhere on the pitch, it was at centre back where he truly could combine all of his skills and impact a match. I recall the interest he generated at Tamworth FC on a PHC UK tour. Here he stood out among the 22 on the pitch but was considered too old.”
Progressive Labour Party MP Michael Weeks described Mr Russell as “very upbeat, jovial, a family man and a people person”.
“I knew him not only as a sportsperson but as a family member, as his father and I are first cousins,” he added.
“He played in other teams but in his heart and soul he was a PHC boy.”
Mr Russell died in an early morning crash yesterday, when his motorcycle collided with a car travelling in the opposite direction on Middle Road, near the junction with Berwyn Hill, Paget. An on-call doctor pronounced him dead at the scene, while the other driver suffered minor injuries.
Witnesses to the crash, or anyone with information about Mr Russell's movements before the incident, are urged to call the Roads Policing Unit on 295-0011.