I wish his father was here to enjoy this- Gayle
With tears streaming down her face as she sat on the bench just outside her home in Trench Town, Raquel Gayle, the mother of national striker Shamar Nicholson, tries to understand the underlying meaning of her son's recent achievements.
This, after Nicholson made a major step in his career when he signed a four-year contract with Belgian club Sporting Charleroi from Slovenian club NK Domzale on Monday.
Nicholson, who is the fourth of five children for Gayle, lost his father, Wayne Nicholson, to gun violence in the community four years ago. And it is this unfortunate circumstance that has left Gayle dumbfounded about her son's success as, according to her, she wishes his father was here to bask in his son's glory.
"I am very overwhelmed and at the same time I am down because his father should have been here to be in all of this," said Gayle.
"His father was a real good father, but he died when he was 18. He took care of all of them and should have been here to be part of this. It's like I can't embrace it all that much because every time I try to feel happy, he just comes back in my thoughts." she continued:
"He died in gun violence, but I know that he is watching over him. I know his father should be here to a grasp all of this because he played his role as a father because he was there for him right up until the day he died."
Trench Town has produced the likes of reggae stars Bob Marley, Alton Ellis among others, and sporting heroes such as Collie Smith. But violence, for a very long time, has stained the streets of the community.
When STAR Sports visited the community yesterday, there was a large contingency of security force personnel patrolling the area as there has been a recent upsurge of gun violence in the area.
Gayle said that following his father death, a lot of persons in the community were encouraging him take up the gun in retaliation, but she along with members of her family advised him strongly against it and that he should remain focused on his football career.
"After his father died, a lot of people was putting things in his head that him must do things because them kill him father. Me and my sister and family have to look on him say no, we not dealing with that because a football is our thing and from there him just took it on. He took it on to the fullest and so I am proud of him," said Gayle.
"Every time I remember about this, I just cry because his father is not here to be part of his son's life and to see him playing for Jamaica," she said.
Gayle added that Nicholson, who is affectionately called Bowza by his peers, is very hard working because he is determined to help his family out of poverty.
"He always says: My mother, I am going to make it, but some people look down on him, but we always have faith in him," she said.
"I always tell him that with God all things are possible and he must just put God first at all times. No matter how the task maybe, just pray and put God first. I know that he has been doing that and I am very proud of him," Gayle said.
Nicholson, who came up through the Boys' Town football club, made 47 appearances for NK Domzale, scoring 18 goals since he joined the club in September 2017. He has so far scored three goals in 12 caps for the national team.