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Jordan Outerbridge finds comfort amid family tragedy

Jordan Outerbridge, centre, is finding solace through football (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

It was with a heavy heart that Jordan Outerbridge donned his No 11 shirt for league-leading North Village Rams only days after the fatal shooting of older brother Wilfred Outerbridge Jr.

The 27-year-old produced a courageous display under obvious duress on Saturday at Wellington Oval during a 2-1 victory over St George’s Colts.

Finding measures of relief in the company of comrades, with pain shared being pain lessened, Outerbridge was grateful for the support of his team-mates and, even as the post-match mood was tempered by tragic realities, he yet found contentment in a result that kept the early-season pacesetters clear of the chasing pack.

“I just used today to take my mind off everything that has happened the past few days since Tuesday night,” Outerbridge said. “It’s been difficult for my family and the win today was more than just a win.

“Football’s a lot more than just a game for myself and this team, so for us to continue this unbeaten run meant a lot to this team, and receiving the guys’ condolences, putting in a spirited display and spending time this morning just took my mind off everything and provided the distraction I needed.”

Outerbridge spoke of a renewed, blossoming relationship with his brother since the former returned to Bermuda a little more than three years ago, after spending much of his earlier years living and playing football in England.

“I’ve been back on the island for three years now and since being back we’ve spent a good amount of time with each other where we’ve bonded,” he said. “There’s three kids left behind, so that’s a way I can keep him close to me.

“Keeping him close is growing my connection to them. So, yes, I’m going to miss him, we’re all going to miss him.”

Outerbridge was at a loss to explain the gun violence in Bermuda, with Wilfred Jr, 35, having become the second shooting death this year, amid several firearms incidents recorded this year.

“The problem exists,” he said. “I can’t really talk too much to it, having only come back to the island three years ago. Stuff like this is so alien to me that it’s hard to adjust when you see it. When it hits close to home, it cuts even deeper. Guns aren’t the way.”

Village coach Kenny Thompson was fully supportive of his player, noting how his willingness to play so soon after the tragedy emphasised great strength of character and power to endure.

“He and his family have been on our minds,” Thompson said. “I was able to speak directly to him before the game, but what can we say.

“We’re here to support him. He showed the strength to say that he’s here to play under such difficult circumstances, and we continue to support him and give condolences to the family.”

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