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Uncles pay emotional tributes to Osagi Bascome

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Neil Paynter, the St George's president and uncle of Osagi Bascome, is comforted by Carlos Greaves as he began his tribute to the former St George's and Bermuda footballer, who was buried on Sunday following a memorial service at Wellington Oval (Photograph by Lawrence Trott)

No doubt Andrew Bascome saw a lot of himself in his nephew Osagi Bascome as the youngster developed into an outstanding young midfielder.

Osagi Bascome with his uncle Andrew Bascome on tour with the Bermuda Under-17 team in 2014

Andrew was in that category too, as one of the best midfielders this island has ever produced, as he made headlines in the 1980s with North Village before injury ended his career.

Bascome wrote a touching tribute to his nephew, younger brother Herbie’s son, which was read at Sunday’s Celebration of Life service at Wellington Oval.

“Osagi, I miss you, sitting here trying to put into words how special you are to me has been one of the most painful things I have had to do in my life,” Andrew’s tribute read.

“The more I try to put into words the harder it hurts to continue, but the memories you have left me, my family, your family and friends are for ever shining.

“Your personality, character, love for life beam through in your beautiful smile. I’m going to carry your smile and what it represents to me. No matter the pain, your smile will be my inspiration.

“We will never forget you, thank you for the memories you have given me as a coach.

“I remember our first tour with you, the Under-15s Caribbean Cup. You proved to be something special, it was made known to those who played against you, with you and those who watched you play.”

Osagi Bascome played 19 matches for Bermuda between 2016 and 2020, scoring one goal at the senior level, in the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup.

“You played with passion, joy and constantly looked for ways to break down the opposition,” Bascome continued in his tribute.

“You left such an impression on that tournament that you were considered by top officials to be the best talent coming out of the Caribbean at that time and they were right.

Neil Paynter, president of the St George’s Cricket Club and uncle of Osagi, was overcome with emotion prior to his tribute to his nephew.

“This is probably one of the most difficult times because normally I would come here as the president of the club to express what someone has done,” Paynter said, as he fought back the tears.

“But I come here now, not only as the president, but as his uncle and his godpa. I thought about what I was going to say, that Osagi had come full circle in life, born in St George’s, lived his life and was a sportsman, son and brother.

“And when his family emigrated to the United Kingdom, he found his niche. This young man had so many challenges in life, so many obstacles that he had to endure and he was still successful!

“Osagi’s life came full circle, from his beginnings in St George’s to Birmingham, to his many travels and he came back to Bermuda to play for his home team, to bring a spark back to his community. A community that was crying for success, crying for love.

“Sport has a way of bringing us together and he was an integral part of that. When he played sports he played with a smile. His smile was infectious and it resonated throughout the whole team, throughout the whole community and throughout the whole of Bermuda.”

Paynter, a former Bermuda national team player himself, urged the community not to allow Osagi’s death at the age of 23 to be in vain.

“I found a quote for me that encapsulated Sagi completely,” he said. “Your smile is your logo, your personality is your business card. How you leave others feeling after having an experience with you becomes your trademark.

“He has left a trademark on this island like no other, and if there is anything we have to do, first as the St George’s community, second as Bermuda as a whole, is we must come together.

“Sagi’s death cannot be in vain.”

Osagi was killed on December 18 near Fun Zone in St David’s.

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Published January 20, 2022 at 7:49 am (Updated January 20, 2022 at 7:49 am)

Uncles pay emotional tributes to Osagi Bascome

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