Sporting community in pain after Osagi Bascome killing
The flag outside of St George’s Cricket Club flew at half mast yesterday, in honour of late club footballer Osagi Bascome, who was stabbed multiple times during an alleged altercation outside Fun Zone in St David’s on Saturday.
The young footballer’s killing, has left a piercing pain within the east end community and across the wider local and international sporting landscape.
Bascome, 23, is the son of national cricket team coach Herbie Bascome, and great nephew of former Government Minister Lovitta Foggo.
In the sporting world, he was recognised as a talented midfielder, who represented Bermuda’s national team, both at youth and senior levels and also had playing stints in England and Spain.
As news of Bascome’s death continues to reverberate, the impact of his passing was not lost on Mark Wade, president of the Bermuda Football Association.
Wade described Bascome’s passing as “another tragic loss”.
“A family has received a call that no family should,” Wade said. “Osagi Bascome represented Bermuda with distinction at all levels of international football. We mourn a life taken from us too soon.
“On behalf of the Bermuda Football Association Executive and members, I send our thoughts and prayers to the St George’s Cricket Club, the Foggo and Bascome families, the St George’s community, as well as Sagi’s friends and team-mates.”
Ernest Peets, the Minister of Youth, Culture and Sport, also hailed Bascome’s talents.
“His death is truly a shock to us all in the Ministry, as we all greatly appreciated Mr Bascome’s prolific talent as a young footballer,” Peets said.
“I had the opportunity to watch Osagi play. He was a gifted young man and he certainly represented Bermuda with pride and excellence.
“We are absolutely heartbroken by his death, and our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends during this very difficult time as they mourn his loss.”
Bascome started his career at St George’s, where he showed glimpses of the attributes that have become synonymous with his family’s name at youth level, leading to him being recruited by the Aston Villa academy after his move to England.
He also had stints playing youth football at Stoke City as well as Spanish sides Levante and Valencia, before playing at the regional level in Spain for Massanassa.
His football journey took him to a short spell at Sky Bet Championship side Bristol City, where he did not make a first-team appearance, but followed that up, with a successful trial at Ashton Gate, featuring three times for their under-23 side and scoring once.
His performance in the Under-23's 2-0 win over Portsmouth and 3-1 victory over Ipswich Town – a game in which he scored and set up another goal – prompted the club to offer a deal keeping him at City until the end of the 2016-17 season with a further year's option.
He joined Vanarama National League North side Darlington in March of 2019 and went on to make 16 appearances for the County Durham outfit.
Bascome is best remembered for his stoppage-time free kick away to Walsall in the FA Cup that led to Joe Wheatley's equalising goal.
He parted company with the English non-league side by mutual agreement in February 2020 before rejoining St George’s to bring his club career full circle.
The dreadlocked player enjoyed success playing for Bermuda at both youth and senior levels.
Bascome was a member of the island’s squad that competed at the 2017 Concacaf Under-20 Championship in Costa Rica, where he set up the late Mazhye Burchall's sublime finish in a 3-1 defeat against El Salvador at the Estadio Nacional with a well-taken free kick.
He was also a member of the senior national team, which competed at the Concacaf Gold Cup and Concacaf Nations League in 2019.
The Premier Division fixture between St George’s and Somerset Trojans. which was scheduled to be played yesterday at Wellington Oval was postponed as a result of the incident amid an outpouring of tributes and messages of condolences.
Kyle Lightbourne, the national coach, spoke of Bascome’s deep passion for the sport.
“I just think back to the first time that I really met Sagi in England,” Lightbourne said. “The thing that I saw him do when we were at a cricket game in Birmingham was controlling the ball going around the cricket pitch.
“I just knew his love for the game then; I could see that right there and then while the cricket game as going on. That’s one of the things that come to my mind.
“He’s been involved in big moments for myself as a coach for Bermuda with the Under- 20s progressing to the Under- 20 Championship in Costa Rica and then him being involved in the Gold Cup run as a part of the senior men’s national team.”
Lightbourne added: “This is a difficult situation that we find ourselves in again so my thoughts go out to the Bascome family. For myself being very close to them it’s a very tough moment for everyone. It’s a sad loss for Bermuda.
“On behalf of the senior men’s football team our condolences go out to the family.”
Nahki Wells, the Bristol City striker and Bermuda captain, posted on Twitter: “I want to send my dearest condolences to the Bascome and Foggo family. Devastating to see such a good kid lose his life that way.
“You will be missed and always remembered as a talented baller, the life of the party and a pure hearted person.”
While Bascome is recognised more for his football exploits, he also excelled in cricket.
“Osagi was an off-spinner and left-handed batsman who just loved football, which was obviously his passion,” Clay Smith, the St George’s assistant coach and former batsman, said. “However, anytime the cricket team needed him to play, he made himself available and was quite handy with both bat and ball.
“When he wasn’t playing he was his brothers’ (Oronde and Onias) and St. George’s number one fan.”
Smith said Bascome’s death has devastated the east end community.
“Words can’t describe the feelings right now,” he added. “This has shocked the whole St George’s community as this young man was a kind, respectful, humble person who always had a smile on his face. You couldn’t help but love him.
“Gone but definitely won’t be forgotten. Condolences to the family.”