Goater’s proudest moment
Shaun Goater became the youngest former athlete to be inducted into the Bermuda Sports Hall of Fame at last night's heart-warming ceremony at The Fairmont Southampton.
Goater, a former Manchester City striker, joined the Hall of Fame along with nine other outstanding athletes who have left their mark on the Island.
The 44-year-old, who netted 103 goals in 212 appearances for City, paid tribute to late mentor Harold “Doc” Dowling and Andrew Bascome, the Bermuda coach, and mother Lynette.
He reserved special praise for his wife Anita, breaking down in tears as he described her as a “real rock to me”.
“I remember playing a game against Middlesborough on Sky and I came home and she said ‘is that a dress rehearsal?,” Goater told the audience.
“She basically was a mentor and a real rock for me and I made it through my tough times. It was very difficult in England and with her giving me that speech I never forgot it.
“Every time I put my foot on the field I gave my all because I knew I had the ability and I just had to prove it and not take it for granted.
“So with her I got a wife, a best friend, a mentor, a psychologist — I had everything in my wife and she was just so spot on.”
Goater said that being inducted into the Bermuda Sports Hall of Fame was the proudest moment of his life.
“I have achieved quite a lot in my football career,” he said, “but this is the best.
“This is the proudest moment of my life because this is for Bermuda and I'm proud to represent my country. To be on the same stage with many of the great names we heard tonight, it's a great honour and very humbling.”
Goater, who received a standing ovation from the audience, was among a trio of footballers inducted in the Class of 2014 that also included Granville “Sam” Nusum and George Sousa, who captained Bermuda Athletic Association to victory over Southampton Rangers in the inaugural Bermuda Football Association Challenge Cup in 1956.
Sousa's son, Jeff, made an emotional speech on his father's behalf.
Shortly after being inducted into the Hall of Fame, former BAA captain Sousa lost his footing as he exited the stage but fortunately emerged unscathed from his trip.
Another emotional moment arrived when the grandchildren of cricketer Rupert Scotland, Matthew and Ava Joy Moreno, accepted the silver plaque for their late grandfather.
Scotland, the former St George's Cup Match star, was one of two cricketers inducted last night, the other being Colin Blades, the ex-Somerset and Bermuda batsman.
This year's inductees also included two former politicians, Premier David Saul and Deputy Premier Jim Woolridge.
Saul was inducted for his exploits as a distance runner and Woolridge for his long-time services as a cricket commentator.
Golfer Brendan “Bees” Ingham, Gerry Swan, the former triple jumper and national track and field coach, and Reuben Alias, the football referee and sports administrator, were the remaining athletes inducted this year.
Handing out individual awards throughout the ceremony was Premier Michael Dunkley who saluted the Class of 2014.
“The Bermuda Sports Hall of Fame is a club you have to earn your way into and it is not taken lightly,” he said.
Also attending was Wayne Scott, the Sports Minister, who added: “Tonight we are here to celebrate the accomplishments in the world of sports of the distinguished honorees.
“Your commitment to excellence is a shining example for all to emulate.
“You are sporting icons and your achievements stand as a legacy for future generations of young athletes and provide a vision for the future of sport in Bermuda.”