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North Village mourn death of Triple Crown winner Nakia Smith

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Tributes have been paid to Nakia Smith

North Village Community Club president Shervin Dill has expressed grief and shock over the death of former club footballer Nakia Smith, who passed away on Tuesday at the age of 49.

The versatile player came up through Village’s youth programme and went on to become an integral part of the club’s Triple Crown success during the 2005-06 season.

“North Village Community Club are saddened, shocked and absolutely stunned to hear of one of our legends Nakia Smith’s passing,” Dill told The Royal Gazette.

“Nakia was one of our mighty warriors as a player and supporter. He was an outstanding member of our Triple Crown champions team during the 2005-06 season.

Nakia Smith played an integral role in North Village’s Triple Crown winning team during the 2005-06 season (File photograph)

“He was a fearless and very talented striker who had a huge impact on his fellow team-mates and led by example with his winning spirit.

“Nakia was a true team player, both on and off the field, who truly loved and supported his beloved club North Village. Nakia will be sadly missed by his North Village family and we take this opportunity to extend our most sincere condolences and prayers to the family of our legend.”

Echoing Dill’s sentiments was his son, former Village player and senior assistant coach, Maceo Dill.

“I grew up right next to Nakia, who was always North Village's utility player and who played from his heart with his passion,” he said.

“Within that Triple Crown team, he was actually the glue that made everything work.

“He played striker and scored the most goals that year. He also provided services to the likes of Ralph Bean Jr and comfort to the young players, Keishen Bean and Tyrell Burgess, who were in the same team at the time.

“He was definitely a big part of that unit and he will be missed. This is definitely unfortunate and my sentiments and condolences go out to his family and his children.”

Smith, whose wife Kamala died eight years ago after battling cancer, also enjoyed success playing for Wolves after parting ways with North Village and that club are keen to pass condolences on to the extended family.

Nakia Smith, front, third left, pictured during a stint with Wolves (Photograph supplied)

“This definitely hit us hard and on behalf of Wolves Sports Club our condolences goes out to his immediate family and all his children,” club vice-president and former player Vince Minors Jr said.

“It was definitely a pleasure to have played with him during his time at Wolves. He was a quality player, having been in North Village's Triple Crown team, so when he came to Wolves he was somebody that I definitely looked up to.

“As a team-mate he was always positive and there was good vibes whenever we saw each other. This one has definitely hit hard because he was such a good soul and a true friend.”

Former Wolves coach Dennis Brown also paid tribute to Smith’s outstanding football legacy.

“Nakia was the best utility player that I ever coached,” Brown said. “He was one of the main players in that team and a player I could put in any position and he would do what was required in that position without any fuss.

“I played Nakia at centre back, right back, centre midfielder and even had him as a target striker, and he was always efficient and effective anywhere I put him.

“A beautiful person and very respectful. He never disrespected me as a coach and always gave me the utmost respect, even up until his last days.”

Brown said Smith’s arrival at Wolves was timely and his experience proved vital.

Nakia Smith (Photograph supplied)

“Nakia came to Wolves at the time when we needed experience and he brought that,” Brown said.

“I had a very young team at the time and he brought leadership, guidance and really set the example for boys who were there at that time, so he was a great addition to what we had there.

“He was with us for a couple of years and was definitely with us for the first trophy they ever won when we played Devonshire Colts in the Martonmere Cup final [2000-01].”

“I am still in shock and I know the family very well and just want to wish them, from my family, sincere condolences on the loss of a great young man who I had the pleasure of coaching.

“It was devastating news so I just wish the family all the best and continue praying for them moving forward.”

As well as football, Smith played cricket with Western Stars, Young Men’s Social Club, Flatts Victoria and North Village’s Commercial Division outfit.

“He was a top-order batsman who usually came in No 3 and was very gifted,” former Stars captain Justin Robinson recalled. “He was definitely a good fielder and a batsman.”

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Published May 31, 2024 at 8:00 am (Updated June 01, 2024 at 8:13 am)

North Village mourn death of Triple Crown winner Nakia Smith

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