Community unites to bid emotional farewell to Osagi Bascome
Gianni Infantino, the Fifa president, and Concacaf president Victor Montagliani were among those paying tributes to young Bermuda footballer Osagi Bascome, who was laid to rest yesterday.
A few hundred fans and friends turned out at St George’s Cricket Club to pay their final respects to Bascome, who touched many with his talent and zest for life before he was killed a month ago at the age of 23.
Bascome was a Bermuda midfielder who had a spell in England with Bristol City in 2017, at Spanish club Massanassa in 2019 and at another English club, Darlington, in 2019-20 before returning to Bermuda where he played for St George’s Colts in 2020 and 2021.
He made his debut for the Bermuda senior team in 2016 after also representing the country at the under-15, under-17 and under-20 levels between 2012 and 2017.
A tribute from Infantino was the first to be read at the memorial service.
“I would like to express my sincerest and heartfelt condolences on the tragic passing of Osagi Bascome,” Infantino wrote.
“Words seem inadequate to express the sadness we feel for this loss. During his young career Osagi won 19 caps for Bermuda. At club level, after spending time in the academies of Aston Villa FC and Bristol City FC and Massanassa and Darlington FC before returning to his home country to defend the colours of St George’s Cricket Club.
“Considered one of the island’s most talented footballers, having represented the island at all levels of international football, his legacy and achievements, and in particular his personality and human qualities will not be forgotten and he will be truly missed.
“On behalf of the international football community I wish to extend our deepest condolences to the Bermuda Football Association, to St George’s Cricket Club and, most importantly, to Osagi’s family, team-mates, friends and loved ones. Our thoughts are with all of you.”
Montagliani, the head of Concacaf, also weighed in, saying: “On behalf of Concacaf and myself, please accept my deepest condolences for the tragic passing of Osagi Bascome, former Darlington player.
“At his young age, Osagi has already demonstrated his love and passion for the game. He was a star inside and outside the field.
“With a promising career ahead of him, his hard work and demonstration at such a young age will never be forgotten. Our thoughts and prayers are with Osagi’s family and friends, the Darlington club and everyone at the Bermuda Football Association in this difficult time.”
Randolph Harris, president of the Caribbean Football Union, also sent condolences.
“I am deeply saddened to learn of the passing of one of Bermuda’s finest football sons, Mr Osagi Bascome,” he said.
“On behalf of the executive committee of the Caribbean Football Union, please accept our sincerest condolences. We join you in mourning and in condemning the violence that cut short the talented player’s life.”
Bascome came from a family of talented footballers and cricketers and showed promise himself in both sports before deciding to commit to football, his first love. In a Royal Gazette article, he explained: “I had to choose, I couldn’t be a professional in cricket and football so I chose the one I love more.”
He was also developing a love for golf after been given a set of golf clubs by a guest at Rosewood Tucker’s Point where he worked.
“The handsome young man with the colourful dreadlocks was informative, a storyteller who amazed all guests and colleagues on his accomplishments as a successful young athlete,” the resort said.
“Osagi was both a gentle man and gentleman and he will for ever be remembered by all of us.”
Tributes were read out from by St Mary’s Primary School in Birmingham, England, which Bascome attended after leaving Bermuda at a young age with his family, enabling him to pursue his footballing dreams, while learning two languages.
Other tributes were sent in by Darlington FC, Mark Wade, president of the BFA, Arnold Manders, president of the Bermuda Cricket Board, Vance Campbell, a BFA executive, the Bermuda Cricket Umpires Association and Bermuda team-mates Nahki Wells, Danté Leverock and Lejaun Simmons.
Onias Bascome, captain of the St George’s cricket team, and Okera Bascome also paid tributes to their brother.
“I know Osagi is watching over us right now and is smiling at us all, trust me, that’s the type of person that he was,” Onias said.
“Sagi was always special from young and us as a family recognised that. We cherished that from birth.
“Sagi was special, all the sports he played, all the laughs he created, all the smiles he put on everyone’s face are all good things I can remember about my brother. I know his legacy is going to live on for ever.
“Me and my brothers and my momma and my daddy are going to make your name live on for ever in everything we do. I’ve got your back and love you more than anything.”
Okera added: “I hadn’t seen my brother in two years because of Covid, but at the same time, while being away, I want to appreciate everybody for helping my brother enjoy the last two years of his life.”
Cousin Mali Foggo stated: “He was always there for me, and I feel like I took for granted how much he told me he loved me. He always looked out for me as if he was the older one.
“I’m going to miss you so much Sage, save my spot.”
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